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Conyers Unhappy FBI Probe Of ACORN Was Leaked

In the latest chapter of the unfolding ACORN saga, House Judiciary Committee John Conyers (D-Mich.) is unhappy that someone leaked word of a preliminary FBI investigaton into the contoversial group's voter registration activities.

The Associated Press reported today that the FBI is looking into whether ACORN has attempted to "foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election." The AP cited unnamed "senior law enforcement officials" as sources for the story.

Sen. John McCain and GOP leaders have been accusing ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) of knowingly submitting false voter registration forms in Nevada, Missouri and half-dozen others states. ACORN says it has signed up 1.3 million new voters this cycle, many of them poor, young or minorities. Sen.Barack Obama has longstanding ties to ACORN, and Republicans believe that the overwhelming number of new voters signed up by the group with support the Democratic presidential hopeful.

Conyers came to the defense of ACORN, which he called"a longstanding and well regarded organization that fights for the poor and working class," and  he criticized the Justice Department for leaking this story so close to an election.

"As an initial matter, it is simply unacceptable that such information would be leaked during the very peak of the election season," Conyers wrote in a letter  this afternoon to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and FBI Director Robert Mueller. "Such leaks of information about ongoing criminal investigation matters are always inappropriate, and likely violate the provisions of the U.S. Attorney manual governing release of information about ongoing investigations (and which, in any event, would require approval from the responsible U.S. Attorney or Department division before release."

Conyers said it was " a right-wing cottage industry to cry wolf over alleged “voter fraud” during an election season (only to have such claims evaporate after the election has concluded)," and had especially harsh words for McCain.
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