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FBI meeting with GOP candidate who posted fake letter about Rep. Maxine Waters is postponed

FBI meeting with GOP candidate who posted fake letter about Rep. Maxine Waters is postponed
Omar Navarro at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 (John Sciulli / Getty Images)

Republican congressional candidate Omar Navarro’s meeting with the FBI about a fake letter he posted to social media about his opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), has been moved to next week, he said Wednesday.

The FBI had asked to speak with Navarro this week, he said, but the meeting was pushed to next week so his lawyer could be present.

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Waters filed a complaint with Capitol Police and the FBI in December after Navarro tweeted the image. The letter, which appeared to be on an altered version of Waters’ official letterhead, falsely claimed the congresswoman wanted to resettle tens of thousands of Somali refugees in her Los Angeles district. It includes her signature and the official House seal.

Misusing a government seal or posing as a government official is a federal crime.

Navarro said a person he does not know, and has not had contact with since, sent the letter to his campaign. He did not vet it before putting the letter online, and has told The Times he assumed his followers would let him know if it was fake. “I don’t know if it’s real or not, so I put it out there,” he said in December. Navarro has not deleted the tweet with the fake letter and it continues to be circulated.

Since announcing the FBI meeting on Twitter on Monday, Navarro has used it in multiple fundraising pleas.

"I can’t be intimidated. The people will help me fire back at Maxine Waters. Let’s put pressure on her by helping me raise money to defeat her," he tweeted Tuesday.

In the congresswoman's December complaint, Waters said she had not communicated about refugees with the person the letter was addressed to — Teri Williams, president of the Los Angeles-based OneUnited Bank.

This is Navarro’s second attempt to be elected to the southern Los Angeles County district, which Waters has represented for nearly 30 years.

He got 14% of the vote in the June primary, coming in second to Waters, who received 72.3%.

2:55 p.m.: This article was updated with more background.

This article was originally published at 10:35 a.m.

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