Gary Johnson’s campaign says GOP committed crimes to keep him off ballot

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

An attorney for presidential candidate Gary Johnson is accusing the Pennsylvania Republican Party of breaking the law and engaging in “Watergate-style dirty tricks” in an attempt to disqualify the Libertarian from appearing on the ballot in November.

The Daily Caller obtained a letter sent from Johnson’s attorney, Alicia Dearn, asking the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to investigate allegations of attempted bribery and false impersonation of an FBI agent.

“Based on what I have been told by witnesses, it is my opinion that the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee has engaged in Watergate-style dirty tricks, in an attempt to keep Gov. Johnson off the ballot,” Dearn wrote in the letter dated Oct. 1.

The allegation is that the Republican Party hired a private investigator to prove that signatures submitted by Johnson’s campaign were falsified.

A judge has ruled that Johnson has enough signatures to stay on the ballot, though Republicans are challenging the ruling.

Dearn said this investigator — who either implied or gave the express-impression that he was an FBI agent — offered $2,000 to Johnson’s campaign volunteers to testify that they had falsified signatures. The complaint also accuses the investigator of threatening prosecution for not cooperating.

The state Republican Party is calling the allegation “baseless.”

“This is simply a distraction from their own questionable activities,” Valerie Caras, a spokeswoman for the party, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

And Reynold Selvaggio, the investigator accused of this by the campaign, told the newspaper: “That’ s a lie. That’s completely a lie.”

But Dearn, Johnson’s attorney, wrote in the letter that six different people told her similar stories of being approached with bribes by this investigator.

“Should these witness accounts indeed be true, it appears that, in order to bolster their challenge to the Johnson campaign’s candidacy, the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee or its agents sought to obtain witness testimony by unlawful means,” she wrote.

Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, is on the ballot in 47 states plus the District of Columbia. He joined the Libertarian Party this year after an unsuccessful bid for president as a Republican.

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