Police say they have launched a criminal investigation following the release of undercover video showing the son of Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia discussing a plan to cast fraudulent ballots.
Patrick Moran resigned Wednesday as field director of his father's campaign after Project Veritas, an organization led by conservative activist James O'Keefe, released the video.
It showed an undercover operative pitching a voter-fraud plan to Patrick Moran.
In the video, Patrick Moran expresses doubts about the plan but eventually tells the volunteer to "look into it."
Patrick Moran has said he thought the person who approached him was unstable and that he was only humoring him.
The Moran for Congress campaign issued a statement Thursday saying it welcomes a thorough investigation.
Statement from Patrick Moran:
"In reference to the "O'Keefe" video, at no point have I, or will I ever endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior. At no point did I take this person seriously. He struck me as unstable. I thought he was joking, for only that reason did I humor him.
In retrospect, I should have just walked away, making it clear that there is no place in the electoral process for even the suggestion of illegal behavior, joking or not.
In regards to my position on the campaign, I stepped down because I do not want to be a distraction during this year's critical election."
Congressman Moran released the following statement regarding Patrick Moran and the O'Keefe video:
"I don't condone the actions of the right wing organization in question, but I recognize that this incident is teaching Patrick a tough lesson early in life. I know that my son's intention was to deflect the line of questioning by this trained political operative bent on goading him into a specific response.
"But the fact remains that the conversation drifted into discussions that reflected a serious error in judgment that Patrick wishes he could take back.
"In life, if we learn from our mistakes, we move forward stronger, wiser, and committed to ensuring they are not repeated. I know Patrick will come out of this tough situation a better man for it."
The Moran for Congress campaign released the following statement regarding the investigation into the O'Keefe video:
"Our campaign welcomes a thorough investigation and we will fully cooperate. The incident involving Patrick was an unfortunate situation. While clearly lacking good judgment, Patrick's unsolicited interaction with a right wing political operative seeking to trap him in a damaging conversation did not constitute an unlawful action. We are confident this unwelcome chapter in the campaign will be quickly and favorably closed."
News Release: Arlington GOP Chairman Hokanson Calls on Rep. Moran to Resign in NPR Interview on Son's Voter Fraud Scandal
In a radio interview recorded for this afternoon's National Public Radio "All Things Considered" broadcast, Charles Hokanson, Chairman of the Arlington County Republican Committee, commented on the controversial video released yesterday by Project Veritas. The video shows an independent journalist discussing how to avoid Virginia's new anti-voter fraud law with Patrick Moran, son of Rep. Jim Moran, in the offices of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
In the video, Patrick Moran appears to advise and even encourage a man posing as a Democratic activist on the best ways to avoid detection when committing voter fraud under Virginia's election laws. Moran continues by saying that if the forged documents look legitimate, the various Democratic committees would have lawyers available to litigate the matter. Until he resigned yesterday afternoon, following the release of the video, Patrick Moran worked as the paid field director of Rep. Moran's congressional re-election campaign.
The first eight minutes are edited for length, followed by the entire video unedited.
The edited NPR interview of Chairman Hokanson will be broadcast at 4:30 pm today and eventually be available at http://www.npr.org/programs/all-things-considered/.
In the NPR interview, Chairman Hokanson endorsed a full investigation by the State Board of Elections, as well as by the local Commonwealth's Attorney, whose office would be most likely to file specific state Election Code violation charges. Hokanson also called on Rep. Moran to resign immediately, noting that during his 22-year tenure as a Congressman, his personal and professional lives and his campaigns have been consistently marred with scandals and ethical lapses.
Chairman Hokanson offers the following comments on the potential voter fraud scandal:
"Speaking as a citizen and voter, every Arlingtonian should be concerned about attempts to destroy the integrity of the democratic process and to steal elections by illegal and unethical behavior."
"Reflecting on the broader implications of this potential voter fraud scandal, this really should be the scandal that finally crosses the line, even for Jim Moran, so that he should resign from Congress and leave public office immediately."
"The people of Arlington--Republicans, Democrats, and Independents--will not tolerate potential voter fraud, and we demand of all our officials that they preserve the full integrity of our voting process, which has been held to a very high standard in this county. This is not our way. It's time for Jim Moran to go-by resignation in disgrace, or by voter indignation at the voting booth on November 6."
The Arlington County Republican Committee (ACRC) is the official local organization of the Republican Party in Arlington County. ACRC nominates Republican candidates for local office and supports Republican candidates for office at all levels of government.
For more information on Arlington Republicans, visit ACRC on the web at www.ArlingtonGOP.org.
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