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. Tough Lady NC

    It is Partisan, trying to smear Obama. McCain-Palin can't win on issues and they know it. This week it is Acorn, Ayers, Joe the plumber. I already early voted and we have lines here for early voting. I met some Republicans that were voting for Obama. They said they are ashamed of the Republican party. They are really upset about McCain picking Palin. They are upset about the smears and want no part of the Republican party. The Independents I talked to feel the same as the Republicans do. Independent-I Voted Early for Obama-Biden.

    October 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Chris

    ACORN registered voters can vote Republican too... why not try to win votes??

    October 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. joyce

    mcsain is a hypacrit and a liar. i don't even respect him no more he is such a liar
    will the real mccain please stand up and try to revive his reputation
    this next 2 weeks for the sake of humility

    October 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Zelda

    The republicans know they are going to lose. Therefore, they are laying the groundwork to call into question the results of the upcoming election. Something tells me this election will last beyond Nov. 4th. It's the republicans who engage in actual voter fraud (intimidation, suppression, etc.).

    October 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |

    obama is a liar.

    October 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. dave harlow

    I was just reading some interesting things on where both McCain and Obama were born. Are McCain and Obama US citizens?

    October 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Karen, Arkansas

    McSame/Failin supporters...take note WHO asked for the investigation....the man who has NOTHING to hide!
    Obama/Biden....my favorite Joe

    October 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Brenda Morrisey

    REALLY? Partison politics? Did WE ALL NOT hear about the 2,100 fraudulent registrations in Ohio in one district? There were so many fraudulent registrations that they had to stop. Then, did WE ALL NOT HEAR about the entire Dallas Cowboys NFL lineup being registered in Nevada? DID WE ALL not hear about Mickey Mouse being registered in Florida. These are just a few of the recent examples. I'm sick to death about the Democrats claiming whining and claiming they did nothing wrong. ACORN is trying to scam us and we're not letting them get away with it. ACORN is making the whole system look fraudulent NOT THE REPUBLICANS. Nice try Obama team!!!

    October 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Judy

    Please everyone look at what type of campaign John McCain has run. I hope the American people wake up and see that John McCain is using everyone he can to win this election. Stop the madness and stop supporting a faker and a hater.

    October 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Cal in Houston

    I totally agree with Bob Bauer on this. The republicans are just trying to set it up where they can take the election to court again if McCain gets even close to Obama in Ohio or Florida. They need to give it up. This kind of behavior is extremely unpatriotic. If they truly love this country, they should start coming up with ideas and policies that are better than Obama's. Stop trying to distract us and scare us– it's not Halloween yet.

    October 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Colleen

    this is sickening...I can't wait to vote for Obama...and Joe the 'senator'

    October 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Dick TEXAS

    Ah! The pot calling the kettle black. After the biggest voter fraud on record in Florida in 2000, then the GOP hampering efforts by genuine voters attempting to vote in Ohio in 2004 they are in no position to criticise ACORN. As a Supreme Court judge recently said about vote fraud, 'Get over it.'

    It seems the GOP just don't have the funds this time to 'rig' the vote machines.

    October 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Heather

    Are we just now realizing that this is all from Republicans? The Oprah Show boycott for not having Sarah Palin as a guest as lead by the chairwoman of the Florida Republican Women's Committee. Now congressional Republicans are leading the charge against ACORN as if we don't How can they honestly say they have no interest in having a Republican win the White House?

    October 17, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. MissouriMom

    It should be put in the hands of a special investigator...

    This whole ACORN thing is just another GOP distraction from the real issue of the economy AND McCain's pathetic polling numbers.

    These robocalls that say Obama works regularly with terrorists ought to be prosecuted, too - as slander.

    The Republicans just are beside themselves – they cannot believe that America finally woke up.

    Go America! Go Obama/Biden

    Let's build this nation back up from the bottom up - there's nothing wrong with spending if you do it on the things that help real Americans, like alternative energy, green jobs, health care, education... AND NOT WAR.

    October 17, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Tiff of lithia springs

    That is a wonderful idea Obama. I smell a rat under the ELEPHANTS foot and not the donkey. People need to get out and vote and stop having their vision obscurred by the sheep in wolves clothing.

    October 17, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Kelley

    Good for The Obama camp.....Get to the root of this and shut up Palin and Mr.Magoo once and for all. They have nothing but attacks to offer and no plan to help us out or along.

    October 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. herb

    I see that they are at it again. You vote you have to have proper ID LET'S DON'T GO BACK TO "04

    October 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Jim Doyle

    I'm glad they also want to investigate voter suppression. This is a much larger problem than so-called voter fraud, and the focus of all of the Republican machine. The Republicans always want to suppress voting. The Democrats always try to encourage it. There are probably discrepancies on both sides, but that fact alone tells me all I need to know. It's shameful and un-american, especially for the party that always tries to paint itself as "patriotic." Really vile and disgusting.

    October 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Joyce

    John McCain is not a honorable man and Sarah Palin is just stupid. We will all go out to vote and we will not fall for any Republican nonsense. Obama plays a clean game, what a pleasure that is these days.

    October 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Right on! Obama is showing he has nothing to hide. Check mate. McCain. What are you going to say now? The special prosecutor is biased?

    October 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. SC BLUE

    GOOD...the whole ACORN thing is a smoke screen...sure, they need to be held accountable if there is fraud, but..the solution is to STOP PAYING people to get signatures. That will stop the rush to turn in "bad" cards. If "motor voter" laws were in effect everywhere we would not have these problems, and the problem of the Repuplicans suppressing legal voters.

    October 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. independent in Texas

    I am a bit confused..McCain says Obamas health plan would be government run, and therefore be a welfare handout..excuse me, BUT, this is the same planm McCain and everyone in Washington has, so if it is good enough for him and others in Washington, its should be good enough for me and you too ! why is it McCain doesnt want us to have same thing he hAS ?????
    for OBAMA

    October 17, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. voter

    well I hope the special prosecutor will look at the republicans purging voter registration in democratic counties in battleground states. lets be fair and not focus the investigation on just ACORN.

    October 17, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. AIB

    We should not allow the McCain camp with the complicity of the current administration to intimidate voters. All the issue about investigations of voting fraud is just a pathetic way to distract. I call the media and public to vigilant. What needs to investigate is the voting machines that may be the source of huge fraud. If this administration is serious about vote fraud, let examine all the voting machines

    October 17, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Wake UP America

    Got something to be afraid of or hide BHO Camp????

    October 17, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6