DOJ Refuses to Investigate ACORN

March 12, 2010

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and House Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member and Judiciary Committee Member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) today expressed concern over the Obama administration’s continued refusal to investigate voter registration fraud allegations against ACORN.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Ranking Members Smith and Issa cited new documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group, that outline FBI preliminary investigations into voter registration fraud by ACORN during the 2008 election.  The documents include internal FBI memoranda, signed affidavits, subpoenas, fraudulent voter registration cards and publications describing ACORN’s policies and practices.

Ranking Members Smith and Issa: “The continued refusal of the Justice Department to investigate allegations against ACORN—despite mountains of evidence—raises serious concerns about the role politics plays in the Obama administration’s prosecutorial decisions … Unfortunately, it appears that the President’s close ties to ACORN—and those of Justice Department officials—may be the reason why the Justice Department refuses to investigate allegations against ACORN.”

According to documents obtained by staff of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, of the 137 political appointees currently working at DOJ, 21 of these (15%) have a reasonable connection to ACORN and four (3%) have a substantial connection to ACORN.

Smith and Issa: “Political favoritism has no place at the Justice Department.  We’ve already seen this administration dismiss one case against a political ally—the New Black Panther Party—for no apparent reason.  We remain concerned that politicization at the Justice Department once again may result in the administration’s political friends getting a free pass.”

In addition to requesting documents regarding shuttered investigations into ACORN, Ranking Members Smith and Issa urged the Justice Department to investigate whether ACORN is a criminally corrupt organization under federal RICO laws.  Both Ranking Members also reiterated the call for a special, independent counsel to lead the investigation and guard against undue political influence.

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