Newly appointed White House counsel Bob Bauer is "perfectly positioned to be tasked with erasing the tracks between Obama and ACORN," one Republican lawmaker charged Friday.
The lawyer's hiring, announced this morning shortly after Greg Craig officially resigned the post, was also an attempt by the White House to deflect any fallout that may arise from an ACORN investigation currently underway in Louisiana, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) added in a statement.
However, the link between Bauer, the president and ACORN's Louisiana office is long, winding and confusing, at best.
According to King, Bauer -- who worked for Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign -- was they key player in a politicized fight between the campaign and President George W. Bush's Justice Department over an investigation of suspected ACORN voting fraud.
While Bauer, for the most part, signaled in a letter he was unconvinced that ACORN had committed any wrongdoing, he compared the investigation itself to the partisan battle over the firing of a number of U.S. attorneys in 2008 because of their political inclinations. Consequently, he asked the Justice Department shortly after to appoint the same special prosecutor who made the attorney determination to look into the ACORN matter.
"With this voter fraud [investigation], we're seeing an unholy alliance of law enforcement and the ugliest form of partisan politics," Bauer said in October.
King, however, believes that statement was code for "back off from interfering with ACORN's activities," according to his statement. He also said Bauer's return to Obama's team at a time when law enforcement officials just finished raiding an ACORN office in Louisiana -- part of an investigation into whether it committed tax fraud and embezzlement -- signifies malfeasance is again afoot.
The president, however, stressed in a statement on Friday that he trusted Bauer and believed he could do an exemplary job ensuring he and his administration are "held to the highest legal and ethical standards."
“Bob has served as a trusted counselor for many years to many elected officials and is known as a tough and widely respected advocate,” the president said in a statement.