One of the co-moderators of the next presidential debate in St. Louis, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, sat through the 2008 election on a major political corruption story that could have changed the trajectory of the election.
Raddatz, Breitbart News has learned, refused to publish a story on the alleged improper collusion and coordination between then Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and the national headquarters of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also known as ACORN—despite having enough evidence to do so.
Raddatz, along with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, will co-moderate this upcoming Sunday evening’s presidential debate between GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.
After she and her producer received a tip about ACORN corruption—and Obama’s connection to it—and evidence backing up the eventual whistleblower’s claims, they showed initial interest in pursuing the story. Anita Moncrief, the eventual ACORN whistleblower told Breitbart News exclusively that she met with Raddatz’s producer Avni Patel in 2008.
Both Patel and Raddatz were given documents that they covered up and refused to report on until after the election. Raddatz, who was then the White House correspondent for ABC News, and her producer Patel were also provided with personal accounts of the collusion between ACORN and the Obama campaign in October 2008, Moncrief told Breitbart News.
Moncrief, who worked in ACORN’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, would later expose the organization when she turned into a full-blown whistleblower after the election. But if Raddatz ran the story, the election may have turned out differently, especially had the public known the depths to which this scandal went.
Moncrief told Breitbart News that she met with Raddatz’s producer Patel in Washington after initially having made contact with Raddatz herself through a representative. The meeting lasted almost an hour in a coffee shop in Washington, D.C.
After meeting with Patel, Moncrief received an email from the producer:
It was good talking to you today. I look forward to learning more, and taking a look at those documents you mentioned. It sounds like the easiest way to get those from you would be to directly download the files from your web-transfer site. If that doesn’t work, you can try to send them to my gmail account.
Patel gave Moncrief every indication that ABC News was going to broadcast the report, she said.
“They were very excited. They said they were willing to run the story,” she said.
Using the user name and password given to her by Patel, Moncrief sent documents on Oct. 14, 2008 to Patel using the company’s file transfer protocol line, ftp1.abc.com. There was another transfer of another dozen documents by email to Patel on Oct. 26, 2008.
Moncrief told Breitbart News that ABC News received and acknowledged receipt of the documents that spelled out specific instances of collusion between the Obama campaign and named individuals at ACORN and Project Vote. Among the documents were internal correspondences with Moncrief’s name, which she said she included to prove that she was who she said she was.
Moncrief told Breitbart News the Obama campaign passed to ACORN and by extension to its sister entity Project Vote the campaign’s full donor list, which included all donors and fuller descriptions. This list was different from the limited list of contributors the campaign filed with the Federal Election Commission, which for example did not include small-dollar donors. Because of their non-profit status, ACORN and Project Vote were prohibited from coordinating with a candidate’s committee.
ACORN and Project Vote also received the full donor lists from the 2004 presidential campaign of then Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA), she said.
Soon after Moncrief left ACORN, she contacted the New York Times and its reporter Stephanie Strom about the cooperation she witnessed. Strom and Moncrief worked together from July 2008 to October 2008.
But, by September, Moncrief said she was frustrated with Strom’s articles that were based on her information about ACORN and Project Vote, but failed to describe the cooperation. Moncrief said Strom told her that her editors were watering down the stories after they were submitted.
Attorney and columnist Michael Gaynor told Breitbart News that over the summer of 2008, he became an adviser to Moncrief and her effort to expose ACORN-Obama corruption.
In September 2008, Moncrief told him that she was beginning to think that the Times was just stringing her along, he said. “‘I need a Plan B’ she told me.”
The problem was that Moncrief was a left-wing activist and she wanted to go through a left-leaning media outlet, so he suggested ABC News and Martha Raddatz, he said.
Gaynor said he met Raddatz through email because he she sent him proof that he had repeated a false claim about her suppressing the number of soldiers in Iraq supporting Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for president.
With that awkwardness between them, Gaynor said he reached out to Raddatz and explained to her the whole story of collusion between ACORN and Project Vote and the Obama campaign. After the initial conversation, Raddatz told Gaynor that she was interested. Moncrief said she then emailed Raddatz and attached her resume, so that Raddatz would appreciate her background. Raddatz emailed back and told her that Patel would would follow up.
Raddatz has a troubled history of undisclosed associations with Democrats that arguably affect her ability to be impartial.
She was the moderator for the 2012 vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and now House Speaker—then GOP vice presidential nominee—Paul Ryan. But Raddatz did not disclose to viewers that Biden’s running mate, President Barack Obama, attended her 1991 wedding—when she married now former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski.
The position of FCC chairman is a presidentially-appointed slot, which means Obama, after attending her wedding to Genachowski, appointed her by-then ex-husband to one of the most senior positions in the federal government. Raddatz and Genachowski divorced in 1997. Genachowski, a long-time friend of the president’s, also attended Obama’s 1992 wedding, when he married First Lady Michelle Obama.
At a public event in 2013, after Obama and Biden won reelection, Breitbart News confronted Raddatz about her failure to disclose the significant conflict of interest to the general public before moderating that debate.
At the National Press Club event, Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle asked Raddatz:
“Do you think—there was obviously a little bit of a kerfuffle ahead of the vice presidential debate about the fact that the president attended your wedding to the FCC chairman. Do you think that that was handled right and given a second chance would you have done it a little differently?”
“I didn’t do anything. I mean, I didn’t have to handle that. It was—and I’m really not going to comment about that. That was something that happened two days before the debate. It had been in The New York Times quite a while before that, I believe. I just got to put this out of my head. That had nothing to do with what I did at the debate. Nothing.”
This revelation about ABC News covering up the ACORN story before the 2008 election is also not the first time that network—which is influenced heavily by former Bill Clinton White House staffer and ABC This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos—covered up a damning story about a Democrat right before an election.
In fact, right before the 2012 election, ABC News among other outlets had been provided with intricate details about the scandal that has since, years later, led to the indictment of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). They had a chance to break part of the scandal, and chose to not print allegations from prostitutes in the Dominican Republic that Menendez had underpaid them for sex.
They also had evidence of other parts of the Menendez scandal, particularly connections to Democratic Party mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen—who’s also been indicted on the corruption charges—that the network decided against running.
When Raddatz had Menendez on her program after the election with the scandal dominating national news, she conveniently forgot to ask him about it, as Breitbart News reported at the time.
Shortly thereafter, ABC News attempted to undermine the accounts of several of the prostitutes—but after Menendez was indicted, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed the prostitution allegations against Menendez were in fact supported by “corroborating evidence.”
Even BuzzFeed News admitted Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle—who originally reported the prostitution story while at The Daily Caller—was correct on the story.