At the request of the State Board of Elections, the office of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has begun investigating Patrick Moran and the individual responsible for a 27-minute video in which Moran appears to give advice on how to skirt voter identification laws.
Patrick Moran, son of 11-term Democratic Rep. James Moran, resigned from his father's campaign Wednesday hours after the video surfaced.
Thursday, the Arlington County Police Department and the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for Arlington and Falls Church announced they had opened a criminal investigation into the matter.
Cuccinelli, in a phone interview Saturday, said his office already had been in touch with both local agencies.
"We'll move as expeditiously as we can without sacrificing quality. That's kind of the team approach that we're taking to this," Cuccinelli told Patch.
"Whenever we get a request like this from the state board, it's a high priority."
The State Board of Elections announced shortly after 6 p.m. Friday that it had voted unanimously to request the Office of the Attorney General to "investigate voting irregularities involving fraudulent activity concerning Mr. Patrick Moran and others regarding fraudulent voting, including the individual who made the recording of the incident."
The videographer in the Moran video is never identified, though the video was released by conservative activist James O'Keefe — whose methods and productions have been questioned in the past.
Cuccinelli said his reaction to seeing the video was "probably the same as anybody else's."
"But there's a difference between how one feels about it and whether there's been a violation of the law. So, my feelings about it are irrelevant," he said.
His office, also at the request of the State Board of Elections, already has begun investigating an incident in the Shenandoah Valley in which a 31-year-old man working under contract for the state Republican Party allegedly threw away a stack of completed voter registration forms.
Jim Moran and Reps. Bobby Scott and Gerry Connolly called for the Justice Department to investigate that matter earlier this week.
Cuccinelli said his office typically doesn't confirm or deny its role in such investigation. He reiterated that his office lacks the authority to investigate election matters barring the request by specific individuals or agencies.
He also said his office does not displace local law enforcement agencies.
However, the Attorney General's Office has election law experts and attorneys who advise the State Board of Elections in-house, which doesn't exist in local commonwealth's attorney's offices, he said. His office also has special prosecutors who can be brought in with the coordination of local officials.
Once authorized by the state board, the Attorney General's Office does have the authority to file charges, he said.
Cuccinelli said his office is bound by statutory time limits on certain procedures that would make it impossible to complete the investigation beforehand. The logistics of finding and talking to all of the parties involved also adds to the time consideration.
"As important as speed is, given the context, the No. 1 priority is doing the job right," he said. "We're well aware of the desire for resolution prior to Election Day, and it is desirable if it can be achieved. But we will not be so bound by Election Day that we will sacrifice quality."
Cuccinelli said he had seen the video in question, and he recognized it "is in the genre of work" O'Keefe and his associates have been trying to do.
"It's probably fair to describe it as an unusual piece of information that brings a case into being, but that's more of a decision of the State Board of Elections," he said.
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