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At the time, Mr. Conyers said the allegations were “a pretty serious matter.” Two weeks later, he confirmed that he “probably” would order a probe. “That’s our jurisdiction, the Justice Department. That’s what we handle - voter fraud. Unless that’s been taken out of my jurisdiction and I didn’t know it.”

No one knows for sure what exactly Mr. Conyers has been thinking or who has been telling him to think it.

Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a District think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy.