Crime/Corruption

Officials say feds involved in Nevada ACORN raid

by Brad Jacobson

Part of the reason I’ve been off the radar here for so long — my latest investigative report for Raw Story:

Federal agencies were involved in the decision to raid the office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Nevada last October, just weeks before Election Day, the offices of Nevada’s Secretary of State and Attorney General say.

The allegations raise questions of whether politics played a part in the raid and calls into question assertions by the US Attorney’s office that they were uninvolved. Federal guidelines instruct agencies investigating election fraud to avoid action that might impact the elective process.

Bob Walsh, a spokesman for Nevada’s Secretary of State, and Edie Cartwright, a spokeswoman for Nevada’s Attorney General, said that not only were the Nevada US Attorney’s Office and the FBI involved in investigating Nevada ACORN on allegations of voter registration fraud but that all four agencies jointly made the decision to conduct the raid. Both the investigation and the raid were conducted as part of the joint federal-state Election Integrity Task Force announced last July, the spokespersons said.

In initial conversations with Raw Story, Walsh wouldn’t specify the federal agencies involved in the decision to raid the ACORN office. But after being presented with previous statements he’d made in which he said the US Attorney and the FBI were involved, he said, “My comments don’t come with an expiration date.” Asked to confirm if that meant he did indeed stand by every statement he made in an earlier report, Walsh added, “Yeah.”

Cartwright corroborated Walsh’s two main assertions: that Nevada’s US Attorney and the FBI were involved in the investigation of Nevada ACORN as part of the joint federal-state Election Integrity Task Force, and the decision to raid the ACORN office was made between these four agencies. Asked to confirm that her office agreed with Walsh, Cartwright answered without hesitation, “Yes, that’s right.”

Their statements appear to contradict those previously made by Nevada US Attorney Greg Brower’s spokeswoman Natalie Collins. In October, Collins said the US Attorney’s office and the FBI “have not been, and are not, at the present time, involved.” Collins later said she was misquoted. (Brower is pictured above right.)

Told of the alleged involvement of the Nevada US Attorney’s Office and the FBI in the ACORN raid, Justin Levitt, an election law expert at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, expressed concern.

“The manual governing how federal prosecutors are supposed to act with respect to election crimes says you should do everything in your power to conduct your investigation so that the investigation does not become an issue in the election,” Levitt told Raw Story in a recent interview. “The raid is certainly not that.”

Read the rest of the story HERE. (Many other interesting connections follow.)

Cross-posted from MediaBloodhound.

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