Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ranking Judiciary Committee Republican Calls For ACORN Probe

Smith at a recent town hall meeting

In response to recent news reports regarding ACORN activities, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today called for the FBI to open investigations into the organization.

In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, Smith requested that the FBI initiate an investigation into possible RICO violations. In a second letter to the Justice Department's inspector general, Smith asked whether ACORN has received any government funding.

“For years, ACORN has been the subject of allegations of fraud, misconduct and possible criminal activity," Smith said.

"In fact, voter registration fraud allegations have led ACORN to be subject to investigation in 15 states. Despite these serious concerns, Congress and the administration continue to provide federal funding to a corrupt organization. Our democracy depends on the integrity of our election process. ACORN’s efforts to swing election results through voter registration fraud undermine the integrity of our elections and shake the American people’s faith in their government."

ACORN has announced that it is launching its own, independent investigation into the latest charges.

"As a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees, I am, in consultation with ACORN's executive committee immediately ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN's service programs until completion of an independent review," said ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. "I have also communicated with ACORN's independent Advisory Council, and they will assist ACORN in naming an independent auditor and investigator to conduct a thorough review of all of the organizations' relevant systems and processes."

The latest controversy stems from the release of a video shot by conservative activists showing an ACORN representative advising them how to set up a prostitution business.

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