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ACORN Probe On Track, Says House Judiciary Chairman

House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) reaffirmed that he still plans to launch a congressional probe into the wrongdoings of the radical direct-action group ACORN.

The Washington Times reports

Opponents of the liberal activist group ACORN have found an unlikely champion in House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr., who is clashing with his own party to pursue hearings on accusations that the group has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style “protection” racket.

“I still want to do it and I probably will,” Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, told The Washington Times on Tuesday.

He dismissed the argument made by fellow Democrats that accusations of voter fraud and other crimes should be explored by prosecutors and decided in court, not by lawmakers in Congress.

“That’s our jurisdiction, the Department of Justice,” Mr. Conyers said. “That’s what we handle – voter fraud. Unless that’s been taken out of my jurisdiction and I didn’t know it.”

Mr. Conyers’ continued commitment to hearings bristles Capitol Hill Democrats because it threatens to rekindle criticism of the financial ties and close cooperation between President Obama’s campaign and ACORN and its sister organizations Citizens Services Inc. and Project Vote.

The groups came under fire during the campaign after probes into suspected voter fraud in a series of presidential battleground states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico and Nevada. [...]

Just last year Conyers defended ACORN, describing it as ”a longstanding and well regarded organization that fights for the poor and working class.”

But that was before the damning congressional testimony of GOP lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh about ACORN’s protest-for-hire services and the “muscle for the money” program. Much of the evidence against ACORN comes from whistleblower Anita MonCrief, a former employee of ACORN’s affiliate, Project Vote.

As anyone who has been following the ACORN story knows, ACORN and Project Vote are joined at the hip. As investigative reporter Robert Stacy McCain has noted, the ties between ACORN, Project Vote and the 2008 Obama campaign were so close that the New York Times spiked a story that editors thought might harm Obama’s chances of winning the White House.