Fake Voter Fraud Filmmaker James O’Keefe Says He Faces Grand Jury Subpoena

James O'Keefe

James O'Keefe

In January, conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe released a video featuring individuals apparently committing voter fraud during the New Hampshire primary. Rather than attempting to document authentic cases of voter impersonation — a virtually non-existent problem — O’Keefe enlisted activists to commit the crime to demonstrate how easy it is to do so. This self-appointed sting operation, unsurprisingly, may itself have violated state laws.

ThinkProgress reported that Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (R) and Nashua City Clerk Paul Bergeron were both calling for the arrest and prosecution of those involved with the video. Their actions, according to Bergeron, likely constituted Class B felony wiretapping and possibly election fraud. Gov. John Lynch (D) called the videos “outrageous” and endorsed an investigation of whether any crimes were committeed.

Yesterday, O’Keefe revealed that he had cancelled plans to travel to New Hampshire upon learn learning he would be hit with a grand jury subpoena if he did. Speaking, by video, to a local Republican Party fundraiser, he claimed “I’ve been advised that if I appear physically in New Hampshire, I will be hit with a grand jury subpoena,” and expressed defiance. Pledging to continue to employ these controversial — and likely illegal — tactics, O’Keefe said:

I think it’s unfortunate that we live in a country these days where public officials threaten journalists — threaten to put journalists in jail for exposing facts legally. They’ve threatened to do this to me for some time, but we’re not going to stop.

Clearly, the 27-year old has not learned any lesson from previous legal hot water: in 2010, he was sentenced to pay a fine, serve three years of probation, and do 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to federal charges stemming from a failed stunt at the offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

But it remains instructive that the only people actually committing voter fraud seem to be those trying to expose the problem.