Investigators likely to look into unsolicited text claiming Byron Donalds dropped out of race

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Published: Updated:

An attack aimed at a candidate, but also targeting your vote.

“You have false information specifically spread by someone that doesn’t want you to vote for this candidate, so it’s about as serious as it gets.”

Former federal prosecutor Doug Molloy says not only is it bad, but it’s also criminal.

I think it’s one of the worst things you can do,” he said.

Congressional candidate Byron Donalds agrees. “We are going to look into it because it’s not just about this race,” he said.

Because it is about the sanctity of this and all elections.

“It’s about anybody who is going to run for office, those are the type of things we should never allow,” Donalds said.

Molloy says if investigators and prosecutors put together a case, whoever did this could face a host of federal charges.

This isn’t something you brush under the rug,” he said. This isn’t just dirty campaigning, this is crime. It’s against the law.”

The thought of someone trying to trick you out of your vote doesn’t sit well with Southwest Florida.

“Not good. Not good at all,” said Daniel Quigley of Fort Myers.

“We want to make sure that anybody that perpetrated that, that they’re held accountable,” Donalds said.

They start with a timeline. When the old videos were downloaded, when the YouTube video was first posted and of course, tracking down the time and device which sent out the text. Putting this together could take a while.

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