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Remember back in October when prominent conservative tape-faker James O'Keefe's group supposedly got Rep. Jim Moran's son to "give advice," on videotape, on how to commit voter fraud? Not the stunt in which he actually sent people out to try to commit voter fraud, the one that's landed him in so much trouble, but the time before that. No? Well, it wasn't much of a thing. O'Keefe's reputation precedes him, and while Patrick Moran did resign from his father's campaign over the publicity, he said that he believed the individual interviewing him was "unstable" and "joking," and thus was "humoring" him (Patrick Moran, it needs to be said, seems to have judgment issues of his own). Still, a criminal investigation was undertaken to see if Moran the younger was actually a big ol' vote-fraud-doing guy.

Well, that investigation has apparently now been dropped. The reason? O'Keefe has refused to show investigators the full, unedited tape:

Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told ArlingtonPatch's Jason Spencer that both of the Morans cooperated with the investigators. But what they really needed to make a case was the full, raw video, and O'Keefe wouldn't hand it over. "Who knows what else could be on the video? Our detective wanted to request those two things, and that party failed to comply," Sternbeck told Patch. "We want the full version. That's our job, to do a thorough investigation. And that's a huge piece of the process right there."
Now, if O'Keefe really thinks Moran was trying to help his O'Keefe's camera buddies commit "voter fraud," one would think that handing over the evidence that you claim proves it would be, well, pretty much the first thing you would do. I mean, O'Keefe is against voter fraud, right? That was the whole purpose of his little stunt?

The other possibility is that the unedited tape shows O'Keefe's group edited the holy technicolor hell out of the interview, as they have on other occasions, and that giving the raw tape to police would make that readily apparent. The police would then drop the case, and probably be plenty peeved at O'Keefe's group for giving them false information in the first place, and Moran, for his part, would have a fine videotaped starting point to contemplate slander charges against O'Keefe and his little band of conspiracy-mongering political arsonists. Not a great outcome there.

You would think that O'Keefe would by now be thoroughly discredited (again) even among fellow conservatives, but past history has demonstrated that there's nothing that can discredit a conservative "journalist," period, from faked tapes to conspiracy theorizing to a history of plagiarism, so I don't think that will be forthcoming. Still, there's no credible "journalistic" reason for withholding taped evidence of a criminal act, at least not in this case, and that's even if you buy the whole notion of O'Keefe's group as "journalists" in the first place, so there seem only two possibilities. Either he's intentionally aiding and abetting this act of supposed voter fraud by refusing to cooperate with police—thus making him something close to an accomplice?—or he's been bullshitting through this whole story and, once again, smeared an innocent person for partisan ends.

While he does have an arrest record, you still have to lay odds on the second theory.

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