By Melissa Quinn
Updated 11:03 a.m. October 26
Arlington County police opened a criminal investigation into Patrick Moran’s secretly taped conversation about committing voter fraud on Thursday. The announcement came just a day after the video was released to the public by a conservative group.
Read our earlier story below
Patrick Moran, son of U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8), quit his father’s campaign Wednesday after a video of him discussing possibly committing voter fraud spread across the Internet.
An undercover member of Project Veritas, a conservative group led by James O’Keefe, secretly recorded Moran on October 8 outlining a plan on how to forge utility bills in order to cast ballots on behalf of inactive Virginia voters.
The unidentified Project Veritas member approached Moran and claimed to have a list of 100 voters who had not participated in the last three elections. He and another man wanted to cast ballots on their behalf, the unidentified videographer said, but didn’t know how to bypass state voter identification laws.
“If you were to go in and vote for someone in Virginia, you go to the polling place, you need either a utility bill or a bank statement?” the man asked.
Moran replied by saying a bank statement would be hard to obtain, but a utility bill would be easy to forge.
“He’ll need bills, he’ll need something with a name and address … but they can fake a utility bill with ease,” Moran said.
Though O’Keefe hailed the video as “damning evidence … of the scope of voter fraud in this country,” Moran initially urged the videographer to work with Get Out the Vote, an organization mobilizing inactive voters. Moran also alludes to providing legal aid for the men if found out by poll workers.
Following Wednesday’s release of the video, Moran resigned from the campaign. He served as the organization’s field director.
The campaign immediately released a statement describing the younger Moran as “well-liked and was a well-respected member of the campaign team.”
“This incident, however, was clearly an error in judgment. The campaign has accepted Patrick’s resignation, effective immediately.”
The elder Moran, first voted into office in 1990, is running against Republican Patrick Murray. David O’Connell, Murray’s campaign manager, had hard words for the Democrat’s operation.
“It’s an embarrassment to the constituents of his district that a sitting congressman would have a staff that would advocate and instruct people on how to commit voter fraud,” O’Connell told the Washington Post.
O’Keefe rose to prominence in 2009 after conducting a similar sting operation against ACORN. In 2011, he recorded NPR executives claiming to not want federal funding — though the video was later found to have been heavily edited.