The evidence is growing that the FBI’s investigation into ACORN is just the latest iteration of the unprecedented politicization of the Department of Justice that was exposed in the US attorney firings scandal.
Rep. John Conyers, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, today released a second letter about the FBI probe to Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Conyers
noted that the New Mexico GOP last week held a press conference where it publicly named people it said had voted fraudulently in a Democratic primary in June, as part of an ongoing FBI investigation into voter fraud. (ACORN appears to have subsequently shown that those voters were in fact valid.)
And Conyers goes on to make a great catch. He notes that “New Mexico lawyer Pat Rogers — described in the local press as ‘an attorney who advises the state GOP’ — is apparently playing a key role in pressing these current claims.” (Conyers is referring to this Associated Press report.)
Mr. Rogers, however, appears repeatedly in the report on the U.S. Attorney firings, prepared by the Department’s Office of the Inspector General and Professional Responsibility, which documented his actions making flawed claims of voter fraud and bringing unwarranted pressure to bear on law enforcement officials, including Mr. Iglesias, in 2006.
In other words, one of the very same New Mexico GOP activists who was found in the OIG report to have tried to pressure David Iglesias to bring bogus voter-fraud prosecutions is still on the case, and has now helped to get a new federal investigation launched just weeks before the election.
And remember: the OIG report definitively concluded that Iglesias was fired as New Mexico’s US attorney for his reluctance to follow up on politically motivated voter-fraud claims, made by local Republicans including Rogers.
There’s a broader point worth making too: It’s looking more and more like New Mexico is ground zero for the FBI’s new investigation. (Remember that the Wall Streeet Journal had reported back on October 9 — a good week before the news of a nationwide FBI probe broke — that the bureau was looking into voter fraud in New Mexico.) And given what we saw happen to Iglesias, the FBI’s focus on the state, apparently in response to GOP complaints, is further evidence that what’s happening in 2008 has as a lot in common with what happened in 2006.