Democrats subpoena Rep. Scott Taylor in petition lawsuit

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Democrats say they have filed a subpoena for Congressman Scott Taylor to attend a court hearing on Wednesday in Richmond related to their lawsuit to remove an Independent candidate for Congress from the ballot.

In addition, Democrats say they have also subpoenaed four staffers for Taylor's campaign, a former campaign consultant, Shaun Brown, Republican Party of Virginia Beach Chairperson Tina Mapes and two women who notarized petitions. The Democrats say they are prepared to call them to testify at the hearing on Wednesday.

As News 3 has been reporting, Democrats are suing in an effort to get Brown removed from the ballot this fall. Brown is running as an Independent in a three-way race in the second congressional district. Elaine Luria is representing the Democrats.

News 3 has reported on allegations dozens of people have come forward to say they never signed the petition to qualify Brown as an Independent candidate. Taylor's campaign staffers helped in those efforts by collecting signatures. Democrats now say they have "at least 80 instances where a voter's name was forged." A special prosecutor is now investigating whether Taylor's staff did anything illegal.

"This case involves one of the most brazen and far-reaching efforts to manipulate an election by fraud in the Commonwealth's history," Democratic Party attorneys wrote in a newly filed court document.

In a recent interview with News 3, Taylor said he couldn't comment on his staff's efforts but said he believes Brown should remain on the ballot. In light of the subpoena, Taylor released a statement saying, "The Democrat Party is using this lawsuit to disenfranchise a candidate and politically smear another, running ads on TV and boasting about it on social media before there is even a hearing."