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

Obama camp requests special prosecutor for fraud investigation

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/17/art.boptup1017.ap.jpg caption="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. No McSame

    Bush fear tactics and McKarthy era politics will never work. We must not be scared out of our vote to put an end to these kinds of attacks!

    October 17, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Cindy E

    John McCain has connections to ACORN too! Why won't any of the news stations run the video of McCain in 2006 speaking at an ACORN event PRAISING THEM FOR ALL THEIR GOOD WORK?? Please do a search and it will pop right up!

    October 17, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Charlie Bradley

    McLame and Failin are so desperate to turn this around that they are attacking both the Country itself (that woman with her "Pro America" crap) and McIdiot by virtually alienating the very people that might help him...the voters)...if they're not registered, they can't vote, right Johnny boy?

    October 17, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Michelle, PA

    Good idea, get somebody independent in there (NOT a member of the politically vetted Dept of Justice) and let somebody outside these 2 campaigns sort it out. Hopefully they can find somebody everyone involved will trust enough to accept the findings. Otherwise, whoever wins the election will be tainted.

    October 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. carl d

    OMG...Mrs Palin has just been slapped again..lmao

    October 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Obama is the REAL Change

    Wasn’t McCain a SPEAKER in the RECENT past that PRASIED ACORN for their EXCELLENT JOB they do each Presidential YEAR???

    ANOTHER DESTRACTION FROM THE REPUBS PARTY (Well at least they WARNED the American voters that they would USE this instead of the ECONOMY...Which they KNOW nothing about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. tulsa

    Let's let the special prosecutor do the job. Find out the truth behind the allegations.
    If there is fraud, find the source and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
    Any bets this will become a huge black eye for Republicans?

    October 17, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. john

    now obama is trying to make it look like he has done nothing
    to help acorn see how when ever he gets caught he trys to cover
    wake up

    October 17, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. republicans hate america

    Democrats can file suit too now we will see how deep this GOP game goes. This is how you want to play this game

    October 17, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. WY in CO.... Catholic Repub who is voting for "that one"..

    ACORN is trying to do the American thing by registering voters... so that all people can participate with the most patriotic task... voting.

    The only thing ACORN has to do with this issue is that they were lied to by people they were paying per signature... but instead of doing the work they went the easy route and cheated to make a buck. Is BO\JB to blame? no. Is JM\SP to blame? no. This does need to be fixed but this should have NO affect on the campaign since neither of them was involved. If you DO want to talk about voter fraud look at my fellow party members doing horrible things in FL in 2000 and in OH in 2004.

    Nuff said... BO\JB in 08, 12, please Jesus.

    October 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. irony

    typical republican play book. Suppress the minority vote. Scare the public. Lie, lie, lie about your opponent. Personally, I am sick of this strategy.

    October 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Tennessee

    Coverup Obama!!!

    October 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. john

    most of obamas voters are used to stealing any way. so wake up people

    October 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Word

    wow, you guys are really gonna give the Democrats grief about voter fraud.... can we take a little trip down memory lane... uhhh Florida, anyone remember that nonsense. And we weren't on the winning side of that one. Not to finger point but the foulest election discrepancies such as voter denials in minority areas, lost ballots, and errant voter machines, haven't benefited the Democrats in recent years.

    October 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. tulsa

    Read the letter to thew DOJ. LOL.... Republicans should be shaking in their pee filled boots.

    October 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Joe Plumber Six Pack Drunk

    This is getting out of control. Just drop out McCain/

    October 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Ken in Dallas

    Another exciting sideshow from the McCain campaign!

    I'd ask if they have a main event to offer, but if they do, they should have offered it by now.

    McCain First! Country maybe, but only after McCain gets his way.

    Some hero.

    October 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. katiec

    The republicans, besides running the sleeziest campaign
    in the history of our country, are now trying to once again
    steal the elections.
    And, the media is, once again, showing its favortism for
    Mccain by not paying any attention of Mccains dealings,
    approval of Acorn but blasting Obama.

    October 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. independent in Texas

    Mine has been corrected, but, I DO encourage everyone to check their cards..I have been voting for many years, never has t5his happened before..
    Voting early..for Obama

    October 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Heather

    How many eligable citizens won't vote on November 4th? 30%? 40%? 50%? I figure any actual voter fraud works out since there's got to be somebody who wanted to vote for that candidate at home. It's all a wash.

    October 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. LIP

    Is that like putting the cookie monster in charge of the cookie jar?
    Voter fraud should be a bipartison group, not a dyed in the wool Democrat

    October 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Obama is NOT a socialist


    I am from Germany and I lived for 16 years in a socialist country. I mean, I know what that means! And although I had a good childhood there, I don't want these times of indoctrination back. I'm still a left.wing person but don't vote for the Socialist Party here in Germany, I vote for the Social Democratic Party which is part of the government now...

    And I can tell you that still the policies that Obama stands for are far more to the right, actually they are centrists. Following this election with great interest and reading this blog, I came around several times for the term "socialism". Once and for all: OBAMA IS NOT A SOCIALIST. He is far, far away from being that! Don't let you fool by this term...

    And PLEASE AMERICA! The world is watching at you! And we want to welcome you back to the commonwealth of civilized nations! Vote wise this time! There is a lot of work to do to repair the damage the Republican Administration of the last 8 years has done to this world! There is a lot at stake! Not only the future of America, but of the whole planet...
    Imagening this angry old man or even this clueless woman with the nuclear codes really, really scares me!!!
    You have a once in a lifetime opportunity with this calm, intelligent leader, called Barack Obama! Don't miss it this time! And don't let them steal the election again!

    Please vote Obama your next president!

    October 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Theresa

    ACORN = Obama = Fraud

    October 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. facts are facts

    America is rapidly becoming a world wide joke. Well actually it has been that way for quite a while now...........ever since McCain picked Palin as his VP running mate. Imagine picking someone to be your VP whose husband belongs to a party wanting to separate Alaska from the U.S. with her support.

    Imagine a country voting to have an elderly person as their President knowing of his failing mental and physical health while being aware his replacements main qualification is she is a hockey mom.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha

    October 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Shay

    I hope this come back to bite McCain in the buttt. You don't have to stand in front of millons of people and acknowledge that you haven't spent time with an organization call ACORN. McCain is so dirty that he would do anything except talk about what the people need to hear, but can make all kinds of dirty tactic to hurt people and scare people from voting Obama. McCain I hope you get what want. What goes around comes around. Something your mother's have never taught neither one of you. Have fun smearing an organization and a fine man. Senator Obama.

    October 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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