Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time for Holder to Step Aside and Appoint Special Prosecutor in ACORN Scandal

Charles Lipson lays out the case for an independent prosecutor in the mushrooming ACORN scandal. While I have my doubts Holder would ever do so considering his recent history there may soon be no choice, especially if more bombs keep dropping on ACORN and other Obama associates, as Andrew Breitbart suggests will soon be the case.
Independent prosecutors should not be appointed lightly. But in this case, there are good reasons why Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and other political appointees in the Justice Department should step aside. First, although no allegations have yet touched the Obama campaign, ACORN did have significant ties to the campaign and other progressive causes. Published reports show that ACORN and its subsidiaries received some $800,000 from the Obama campaign to get out the vote. Second, ACORN is intimately tied to the Service Employees International Union, one of President Barack Obama's most powerful and vocal supporters.

ACORN's close ties to the progressive movement and Democratic Party mean that there will be little public confidence if Holder decides not to pursue an ambitious investigation and ultimately prosecute.

Ironically, ACORN's chief executive officer, Bertha Lewis, strengthens the case for an independent prosecutor with her robust defense of the organization. FOX News, she says, is pursuing her group solely for political reasons. They oppose ACORN, she says, because it is associated with progressive politics, labor organizing and the Obama administration's health-care initiative. Unfortunately for ACORN, Lewis' charges also mean that if the Obama administration decides not to prosecute or to indict only low-level employees, the public will wonder if they are seeing a political defense by ACORN's friends, a coverup rather than a fair-minded, independent decision by the Justice Department.

Holder has compounded these concerns with two recent decisions. In New Mexico, federal attorneys apparently recommended high-level prosecutions in the pay-for-play scandal swirling around Gov. Bill Richardson. Holder's office overrode them and dropped the case. Holder also decided to drop the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, where thugs were caught on tape brandishing clubs outside a voting precinct. In both cases, Holder has refused to explain his actions.

After these decisions and Holder's silence about them, there is simply no reason to hand him another high-profile case with political ramifications. What we have seen on tape cries out for a serious, independent investigation to determine if ACORN and its affiliates are a criminal enterprise, whether they have spent federal grants lawfully, whether they helped taxpayers file fraudulent returns, and whether they violated laws prohibiting tax-exempt organizations from engaging in partisan politics. These are big questions, and the public needs to know that Washington's answers are fair and impartial.
The left loved Patrick Fitzgerald when he went after Scooter Libby. It would be curious to see their reaction if he were to be the one probing ACORN.

Speaking of Bertha Lewis, check this out. Warning: Very disturbing image.

It'll be interesting to see if any of the media lapdogs query Obama about ACORN during his Sunday chat show marathon tomorrow. Somehow, I doubt it. It stands to reason why The Gutless One is avoiding Chris Wallace.

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