tom_fittonFrom the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:

Obama Justice Department Shut Down Federal ACORN Investigation

If you want to know the sordid details behind ACORN's corrupt activities and the Obama administration's disinterest in holding the organization accountable, I have good news for you. Judicial Watch recently obtained a large batch documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) detailing investigations into ACORN corruption.

This is a huge "get" for Judicial Watch.

The documents include internal FBI memoranda, signed affidavits, subpoenas, fraudulent voter registration cards, and publications describing ACORN's policies and practices. The documents also include details regarding numerous allegations of corruption extending beyond voter registration fraud, to include attempts by ACORN employees to coerce workers to participate in campaign activities on behalf of Democratic candidates.

But here's what I find most interesting of all.

The documents provide the details surrounding the Obama administration's terrible decision to shut down a criminal investigation into two voter registration fraud complaints in March 2009 without filing criminal charges.

I'm specifically referring to separate complaints filed in October 2008 by Lucy Corelli and Joseph Borges, Republican Registrars of Voters in Stamford and Bridgeport, Connecticut, respectively, during the 2008 election season.

According to Corelli, on August 1, 2008, her office received 1,200 ACORN voter registration cards from the Secretary of State's office. Over 300 of these cards were rejected because of "duplicates, underage, illegible and invalid addresses," which "put a tremendous strain on our office staff and caused endless work hours at taxpayers' expense." Corelli claimed the total cost of the extra work caused by ACORN corruption was $20,000.

Likewise, Borges contended that: "The organization ACORN during the summer of 2008 conducted a registration drive which has produced over 100 rejections due to incomplete forms and individuals who are not citizens..." Among the examples cited by Borges was a seven-year old child, who was registered to vote by ACORN through the use of a forged signature and a fake birth certificate claiming she was 27-years old.

The FBI and Department of Justice opened an investigation. However, the Obama Justice Department, while noting that ACORN had engaged in "questionable hiring and training practices," closed down the investigation in March 2009, claiming ACORN broke no laws.

So there are no laws against knowingly submitting fraudulent voter registration cards? Well, that depends upon whom you ask. Here's what I mean.

The documents we uncovered also include records related to a separate federal investigation of ACORN corruption in St. Louis, Missouri, involving 1,492 allegedly fraudulent voter registration cards submitted by Project Vote, a liberal nonprofit organization affiliated with ACORN, during the 2006 election season.


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Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith initiated the investigation with "concurrence" from the Department of Justice and the participation of the FBI. According to a Justice Department memo, Goldsmith "advised he would prosecute any individual responsible for submitting fraudulent voter registration cards." He even identified the specific statute for prosecution: Title 42, USC 1973 (gg), which provides for criminal penalties for fraudulent voter registrations. In April 2008, eight former ACORN employees from the St. Louis office pled guilty to voter registration fraud.

These appear to be two similar cases with two different outcomes. In one case, the Obama administration let ACORN off the hook. In the other, justice was served.

Other documents show that the Bush Justice Department failed to prosecute ACORN voter registration fraud of non-citizens in Phoenix, Arizona in 2007 because the allegations that led to the opening of the investigation were "unverifiable." Notably, the FBI document detailing this questionable decision reveals that a "draft Intelligence Bulletin...concludes that ACORN's employment practices perpetuate fraudulent voter registration." Oddly, the FBI document that details the shut down of the Connecticut investigation seems to ignore this legal issue.

Look, there is no question these documents reflect systematic voter registration fraud by ACORN. So why has there been no comprehensive criminal investigation and prosecution by the Justice Department into this evident criminal conduct?

Perhaps it has something to do with President Obama's close connections to ACORN, including his campaign's hiring of the ACORN's Project Vote organization. When put in this context, it seems rather obvious why Attorney General Holder has failed to seriously investigate these and other alleged ACORN criminal activities.

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