Washington Post by John Wagner
January 4, 2018
President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he is disbanding a controversial panel studying alleged voter fraud that became mired in federal lawsuits, including from one of its own members, and faced resistance from states that accused it of overreach.
The decision is a major setback for Trump, who created the commission last year in response to his baseless claim that he lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 because of millions of illegally cast ballots.
The commission met only twice amid the series of lawsuits seeking to curb its authority and claims by Democrats that it was stacked to recommend voting restrictions favorable to the president’s party.
In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there is “substantial evidence of voter fraud” and blamed the ending of the commission on the refusal of many states to provide voter data sought by the commission and the cost of ongoing federal lawsuits.
The bipartisan panel, known as the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, had been nominally chaired by Vice President Pence and led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican who has aggressively sought to prosecute alleged voter fraud in his state.
In the statement, Sanders said Trump had signed an executive order asking the Department of Homeland Security to review voter fraud issues and “determine next courses of action.”
“The commission never had anything to do with election integrity,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “It was instead a front to suppress the vote, perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims, and was ridiculed from one end of the country to the other. This shows that ill-founded proposals that just appeal to a narrow group of people won’t work, and we hope they’ll learn this lesson elsewhere.” [READ MORE]