On Fox & Friends, The Wall Street Journal's John Fund exaggerated the White House's "ties" to ACORN by claiming that President Obama was a "top trainer for ACORN" and that he was "their lawyer back in the 1990s." In fact, Obama represented ACORN in one lawsuit -- alongside the Justice Department and several other organizations -- and reportedly said he participated in two one-hour trainings with ACORN as a volunteer.
Fund claimed Obama was "a top trainer for ACORN" and ACORN's "lawyer back in the 1990s"
From the January 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): In terms of what kind of ramifications could be coming its way -- could it go all the way to the White House because of the fact the president --
FUND: Well, just remember, President Obama was not only a top trainer for ACORN, he was their lawyer back in the 1990s. His campaign transferred $835,000 and apparently tried -- to ACORN during the 2008 campaign and apparently tried to conceal it. So there are lots of ties. Now, the White House, of course, doesn't want anything to do with ACORN right now. But what I think we're going to find is that ACORN was a giant attempt to evade tax laws and basically use nonprofit status and tax-exempt status while at the same time having other front groups do blatantly political work.
FACT: Obama was not ACORN's "top lawyer"
Obama was a counsel to ACORN alongside the Justice Department in one lawsuit. As an attorney in private practice, Obama represented ACORN in a 1995 lawsuit against the state of Illinois in which ACORN sought to force the state to implement the National Voter Law of 1993, the federal "motor voter" registration law. The June 5, 1995, decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in the case, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), et al., v. [then-Illinois Gov.] James R. Edgar, affirmed the lower court's finding for the plaintiff-appellees including ACORN, the United States of America, the League of Women Voters of Illinois, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. The decision identifies Obama as counsel representing ACORN.
FACT: Obama reportedly said he participated in two trainings as a volunteer
FactCheck.org: Obama campaign said he participated in two one-hour sessions as a volunteer. According to an October 18, 2008, FactCheck.org report, "An article by Chicago alderman Toni Foulkes says that 'we [ACORN] have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year' between 1992 and 2004, when the article was written. The Obama campaign says that Obama participated in two, one-hour trainings in a volunteer capacity. Foulkes could not be reached for comment."