The saga continues. The latest Tan Nguyen mailer claims that Congresswoman Sanchez made false statements regarding Tan Nguyen’s letter that contained false statements.
UPDATE: We got a copy of the Press Release from the office of Attorney General Bill Lockyer regarding this mailer.
To: Interested Reporters
From: Nathan BarankinIt has come to our attention that 47th congressional district candidate Tan Nguyen recently sent a mailer implying that he and his campaign have been exonerated because computers seized by agents from the California Attorney GeneralÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office were recently returned. Given the amount of misinformation being distributed by mail and otherwise about the AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s investigation into the threatening letter sent to lawfully registered Democratic Latino voters who were born outside of the United States in the 47th congressional district, I thought it would be helpful to publicly correct the record and state the facts to the extent I am permitted.
First, the seven computers seized by the California Attorney GeneralÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office during the execution of search warrants on October 21 have been returned. The computers were not Ã¢â‚¬Å“wrongly seized:Ã¢â‚¬Â (as Mr. NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign mailer wrongly states): They were taken and examined pursuant to a court-approved search warrant obtained by our office only after a showing of probable cause that a crime had been committed. The computers were returned, as they routinely would be, just as soon as we had completed Ã¢â‚¬Å“imagingÃ¢â‚¬Â the hard drive of each computer. With the imaged hard drives in our possession, we now have access to everything that was on each of those computers as of October 21; therefore, we had no need to retain the computers themselves. Further, the AG wanted to return Mr. NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign computers as quickly as possible to minimize any continuing impact on Mr. NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lawful campaign activities.
Our agents and prosecutors continue to pursue the investigation aggressively, and that includes – among a number of activities needed to complete our investigation – reviewing the entire contents of each of the computers we seized.
Mr. NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mailer also claims that the letter sent to Latino voters was Ã¢â‚¬Å“merely a warning that it is illegal for *non-citizens* to vote.Ã¢â‚¬Â If that was true, our office would not have requested search warrants and no judge would have authorized the AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office to execute such warrants.
Finally, Mr. NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mailer claims that Ã¢â‚¬Å“The whole thing (was) a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœdirty trickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.Ã¢â‚¬Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unclear what the mailer means by the Ã¢â‚¬Å“whole thingÃ¢â‚¬Â, but if it refers to the Latino voter intimidation letter, Attorney General Bill Lockyer agrees. If it refers to the AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s investigation into the Latino voter intimidation letter, this mailer represents another effort to deceive the voters of Orange County.
You can attribute the following quote to Attorney General Bill Lockyer:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants extensive free speech protections to all of us, including candidates for public office. Unfortunately, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not surprising or unusual that misleading information is distributed to voters in the last days of an election campaign. While the constitution generally protects misleading political speech, it does not protect speech that attempts to intimidate lawfully registered voters from exercising their
right to vote. That is why our investigation will not be complete until we determine exactly who was responsible for distributing the Latino voter intimidation letter in Orange County, and who should be prosecuted for that offense.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Attorney General Bill Lockyer