Sen. Jill Vogel embroiled in email scandal
State Sen. Jill Vogel says she is “horrified” and “upset” by implications she or her husband is involved in a smear campaign against a fellow Republican state senator, but thus far evidence in the imbroglio doesn't appear to be on Vogel's side.
Both Vogel (R) and the GOP colleague involved, state Sen. Bryce Reeves, are seeking the 2017 GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.
In September, an email circulated to Reeves' supporters claiming Reeves had an affair with a campaign aide. After court filings and subpoenas from the Reeves camp, the email was traced to the Vogels.
The Washington Post first reported on the situation Jan. 1. According to the Post and documents provided to the Times-Mirror, Internet records show that the email is linked to the Vogels' Upperville estate and to a cellphone belonging to Sen. Vogel's husband, Alex.
“I am writing to you today concerning your public support for the candidacy of Sen. Bryce Reeves to be our next lieutenant governor,” the email reads. “As a Christian, I am deeply troubled by Sen. Reeves personal conduct. People around the commonwealth have repeatedly talked about the fact that Sen. Reeves is carrying on an open and obvious adulterous relationship with his campaign staffer and constant companion.”
Reeves, who is married, has denied the accusation he's had an affair. After he couldn't locate a Martha McDaniel, they subpoenaed Internet providers for service records, which eventually led to an IP address traced to the Vogels' home and that of their neighbors. Additionally, a cellphone number attached to the email@example.com account belonged to Alex Vogel.
Sen. Vogel, who represents portions of Loudoun and Fauquier counties, has denied any involvement with the email. In a statement to the Times-Mirror, she was open to a third-party investigation, which has been suggested by the Reeves campaign.
“I am horrified by this and I am as upset as Sen. Reeves,” Jill Vogel said. “Unfortunately, we only learned about this in the last few days and we are doing everything in our power to get to the bottom of it.”
Both Jill and Alex Vogel are lawyers specializing in political ethics and campaign finance. Alex is a former lobbyist and the founder of D.C.-based VogelHood political finance research firm.
Sam Azzarelli, a spokeswoman for Reeves, said her camp is merely concerned with the facts.
“If the Vogels are willing to go through a mutually agreed upon third party to have their phones, computers, and electronic devices forensically tested to determine if, and who, might have hacked into their cell phone, and multiple IP addresses, we will help fund it to find out if they were truly hacked," Azzarelli said in a statement.
Azzarelli told the Times-Mirror it's “highly unlikely” the Vogels were hacked. She said Reeves, from Spotsylvania, is “shocked, appalled and hurt.”
Reeves and Vogel have not spoken with one another since the Washington Post reported the story, according to Azzarelli.
State Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. is also seeking the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.
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