October 17th, 2008
08:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama camp requests special prosecutor for fraud investigation

Sen. Obama's campaign requested Friday that an independent special prosecutor handle any federal investigations into voter irregularities during the upcoming election.
Sen. Obama's campaign requested Friday that an independent special prosecutor handle any federal investigations into voter irregularities during the upcoming election.

(CNN) – The Obama campaign announced Friday that it is asking Attorney General Michael Mukasey to turn over any investigations of voter fraud or voter suppression to Special Prosecutor Nora Dannehy, the same special prosecutor recently appointed to investigate the U.S. attorney firing scandal.

Read: The Obama campaign's letter to Mukasey

It’s the latest salvo in an escalating war over allegations of possible voter irregularities during the upcoming presidential election.

“What they’re actually about is the unprecedented effort to essentially sap the American people of confidence in the voting process,” Bob Bauer, the Obama campaign’s general counsel, said Friday on a conference call.

Listen: Obama camp's general counsel explains the request


Bauer said partisan politics was behind Thursday’s leak from senior governmental officials about a preliminary FBI investigation into the voter registration activities of ACORN, the embattled community organizing group that has become the focus of Republican efforts to highlight voter fraud as the election approaches.

“ACORN is a tool for attacking voters,” Bauer also said.

“We need to have these matters removed from the day-to-day department’s direct control and put into the special prosecutor’s independent hands,” Bauer told reporters Friday. “She should have responsibility for reviewing any and all matters involving allegations of fraud and suppression in this election,” said Bauer.

The McCain campaign responded suggesting that it was Sen. Obama and his campaign who were engaging in partisan politics by requesting the special prosecutor's involvement. In a statement issued Friday night, McCain-Palin spokesman Ben Porritt called Obama's request "absurd" and said it was an attempt to "criminalize political discourse."

"Rest assured that, despite these threats, the McCain-Palin campaign will continue to address the serious issue of voter registration fraud by ACORN and other partisan groups, and compliance by states with the Help America Vote Act's requirement of matching new voter registrations with state data bases to prevent voter fraud," Porritt added.

Listen: McCain campaign manager Rick Davis discusses ACORN Friday


Since ACORN’s extensive voter registration drive ended recently, allegations of voter registration fraud relating to the group’s activities have surfaced in several states. The McCain campaign recently targeted ACORN’s ties to Barack Obama, and Republicans in Congress called for a federal investigation of the group and an end to any federal funding going to the group. McCain himself personally called for an investigation into ACORN last week during a campaign event.

At the final presidential debate, McCain also said ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."

The Obama campaign has said that ACORN has no role in its general election voter registration efforts, and that it has never paid ACORN to register voters.

In a statement issued Thursday, ACORN said it was confident it “would be exonerated” in any federal investigation into its voter registration activities.

Updated 8:40 pm to add statement from McCain-Palin campaign


Filed under: ACORN • Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Voter Problems
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. steve

    I think everyone here should be asking Palin what part of the country that each of us live in since she stated in North Carolina she liked going to "Pro American" parts of country!

    October 17, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Gia Jolie

    Its good that the campaign is helping to squash this disgusting intimidation by the GOP. And I'm glad the Supreme court intervened in Ohio as well.

    October 17, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. LYNETTE IN CA

    SOMETHING STINKS!

    October 17, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. sandee in Portland

    @ Debbie....you will get what you ask for:

    DUH! Do you actually think Obama would ask for this if he had something to hide. I don't think so. That would be like your Mom baking a pie and saying don't eat any. You go ahead an eat a piece of the pie, and your Mom doesn't find out. Don't think so!

    ACORN is only doing their job and turning in all the votes like the states ask. It's not their fault if they have dishonest employees. Geez, we have dishonest politicians; why can't we have dishonest employees?

    October 17, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Gene

    People are making such a big deal about this. I'm not concerned about fraudulent voter registration. Now, when Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck actually show up with ID and try to vote.. then I'll be concerned :)

    October 17, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. iyke in spain

    I think McCain is bold enough to state that he´s going to win this election, despite the fact that they have been written off by media and the wide gap in poll, because he has another plan "rigging". That´s not going to work.

    October 17, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Countdown with Keith Olbermann

    So let me get this straight, the economy is in the crapper, John McCain has a former Saddam Hussein lobbyist in his campaign, Todd Palin was in the Alaskan Independence Party which disqualifies him from having access to secure areas, John McCain is a board member of "PNAC" or Project for a New American Century, which is an ultra-extremist, ultra-radical neo-con gathering of political figures who's goal is to control the world & the American public with their synthetic war on terror, John McCain's buddy is Gordon Libby is a domestic terrorist, John McCain pals around on Italian con men's yachts, Sarah Palin was just found guilty of ethics violations & abuse of power, and this is what the main stream media chooses to cover???

    October 17, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. The Bluest Skies are in Seattle

    Enough is over enough of that Plummer / its just a way for McWar to get his own name in the headlines and draw people away from his no account agenda .

    Thats how McWar discovered his vp he was shopping and located a loaf of bread and said this is my V P /Cindy said its full of nuts,rather Holy, kinda seedy, smells like a lemon ,dry crust , already labled, in a bag McCain said Ill take it .
    What McWar got was an airhead.

    October 17, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. CNN loves a horserace

    BTW...

    McCain brought up Joe the Plumber 21 times in the debate. McCain threw him into the national spotlight. McCain is mentally unfit to govern this country.

    Republican slime.

    October 17, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. ED

    Gotta love it. Obama's response to ACORN story: have someone independant investigate given parallels to investigations that lead to Gonzo's resignation and link between Bush, DOJ leaks, and the McCain campaign.

    just more proof that McCain = another four years of Bush.

    October 17, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Sammy

    Well I didnt expect this one. But then considering the prosecutor he named, it would probably be a non-starter for republicans.

    October 17, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. CNN loves a horserace

    How about reporting on Palin's pro-America gaffe?

    October 17, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    ACORN is a non-story!!!

    October 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. WOWWOW

    ACORN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,OBAMA,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,CRIMINALS

    October 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. KAPPA 4 OBAMA

    The person(s) who does the attacking.... usually has something to hide and is more sinister that the person who is being attacked. If voters elect McCain... before his term is over you will regret it even more than Bush's 2 terms. If you are smart.. you will recognize why America is beginning to fall. If you vote McCain in...I believe God will no longer bless America. I really believe we are in this point and time for a reason. Racism is out in the open, stupidty, negitivity and fear. If you think about it, these people spewing these racist comments, black , white or other are almost pure evil. Why?? The fact is racism is just to exhibit hatred for the simple fact of hatred. It is unwarranted and illogical. Especially to think the Europeans who came to this country were very poor and running from oppressions themselves only to oppress others. If you were oppressed and knows what it is like why would you turn around and do the exact same thing but 10 times worst to someone else? Middle East countries have already said America is beginning to Fall. Elect McCain and you will prove them right...Elect McCain and watch McCain destroy the fabric of this nation.

    October 17, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Observer

    This is the same John McCain who praised ACORN for doing such a fine job of registering voters a few years ago. I guess it's only fraud in his eyes when he's behind in the polls. If he were ahead, I guarantee he and the GOP would be as quiet as can be.
    By the way, this is just a complete distraction anyway. As many of the people who posted here have mentioned, there are many safeguards in place to ensure that Mickey Mouse doesn't vote.
    The GOP is hoping they can sow enough discontent with this story that they can claim that the election was stolen from them, and that some people will actually believe them. Pure delusion.

    October 17, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. G

    I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL ALL THIS IS OVER AND OBAMA HAS BEEN DECLARED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!!

    October 17, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Go get em' Senator Obama – expose the GOP and all the crooked republicans!

    October 17, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Amy

    This is one more way the McCain campaign is trying avoid talking about the economy!

    "It's the economy, stupid!" applies as much today as it did 16 years ago.

    October 17, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Palin is the one that is anti-America!
    Palin and her husband want Alaska to leave the USA and be its own country. I say that is TREASON!

    October 17, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Mike Jones

    I hear some of you mention registration and voter fraud being different. What you dont understand is, if there are multiple registration cards available you can go and vote 100 times if you would like. So, if it is registration fraud it will turn into voter fraud. The disney characters obviously will not be an issue.

    October 17, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Brenda Morrisey

    All you guys talking about the difference between voter registration and voter fraud. Ohio allows same day voter registration and voting. A group of students tested this in Ohio and a college student NOT FROM OHIO (who is presently studying at Oxford (England)) was able to register and WAS ABLE TO VOTE!!!!!! THAT IS VOTER FRAUD!!!!

    Voter FRAUD IS happening.

    October 17, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. Mick

    McCain's plan is to continue to redistribute to the wealthiest.

    I want someone who actually remembers what it was like to struggle. Not someone who fails to recall how many houses and cars they have.

    Go Obama!

    October 17, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Matt

    LOL! McCain fell off the turnip truck. Let's be objective shall we?

    1. The GOP currently holds the title for biggest election fraud perpetrated on the American public in our nation's history.

    2. Saying Obama is connected with ACORN and somehow responsible for their fraudulent registrations doesn't make it so, especially when the facts aren't adding up to show either that ACORN was somehow doing something wrong or that Obama told them how to do their job.

    3. This is all a gambit by the GOP to one-up themselves and suppress all those scary black and liberal voters who the GOP has complacently written off for the past century because they don't tend to bother to vote. Well, now they are and the GOP has its pants full.

    October 17, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. tulsa

    OK FOLKS... ACORN HAS TO TURN IN ALL REGISTRATION FORMS.
    There are 3 categories.
    Good- all addresses, ss numbers, etc. check out.
    Questionable- not all information can be verified.
    Fraudulent- names and addresses, ss numbers, telephone, etc. do not match up.

    ACORN separates these and turns them in to the voter registration officials. Acorn itself called the bad registration forms bad.

    Get ove it and let's get on with the election already.

    October 17, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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