Trump dismantles panel on voter fraud, turns matter over to DHS

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday discontinuing a White House voter fraud commission created in 2017 to probe alleged electoral irregularities in the 2016 presidential election.

Established in May 2017, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was created to examine the registration and voting processes used in federal elections.

Following his Electoral College victory over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in November 2016, Trump charged “three-to-five” million votes had been illegally cast and pressed for an investigation into the matter.

Chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the panel consisted of a majority of Republicans and a handful of Democrats who hold state office.

Shortly after the committee was impaneled, vice-chair Kobach wrote a letter to state election officials directing states to turn voter data, including names, addresses, birth dates, partial Social Security numbers and voting records.

A move which startled some rights groups, at least 32 states refused to comply with the request, and one panelist, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, sued over allegedly being denied access to data collected.  Similarly, some rights groups such as the ACLU filed suit against the commission.

To-date, no evidence has been found by the panel that suggests voter fraud occurred during the last national election.

Following the refusal to comply from states and ensuing lawsuits, Trump ended the panel’s investigation led by the White House and turned the responsibility to pursue the probe over to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

DHS has access to an abundance of information the White House sought, but was unable to acquire from states.

“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action,” read a statement from the president.

Despite his commitment to see the commission’s work through, Trump took to Twitter and lambasted the lack of cooperation from Democrats.

 

[Politico] [ABC News] [Photo courtesy AP via The Nation]

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