Barack Obama’s legal team wants a special prosecutor to determine whether partisan politics is at play in a reported though unconfirmed Justice Department investigation of a voter registration effort which has been the target of numerous complaints of late, including one in Michigan.
With the election just over two weeks away, Bob Bauer, Obama’s chief lawyer, said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon that he is asking U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to hand over to special prosecutor Nora Dannehy any probe into what Bauer called “bogus claims of vote fraud” that mirror concerns raised by Republicans two years ago.
According to a recent Justice Department report, those issues played a role in the controversy over the forced resignations of nine former federal prosecutors.
That report – performed by the inspector general overseeing the Justice Department and others – found that David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney in New Mexico, “was removed because of complaints to the Department of Justice and the White House … about Iglesias’ handling of voter fraud” cases. He had been pushed to bring a case against ACORN – the Association of Community Activists for Reform Now, the group at the center of the current controversy.
“Are we seeing a repeat now?” said Bauer. “It would seem that we are.”
Justice Department didn’t immediately have a comment about Bauer’s letter – though it was unclear they would given that no investigation has publicly been announced and would not be. In his letter, Bauer noted that in citing unnamed sources for the report, the Associated Press said “Justice Department regulations forbid discussing ongoing investigations particularly close to an election.”
via Detroit Free Press: Obama’s legal team seeks special prosecutor for voter registration probe