More drama for the now disbanded “election integrity” commission that President Donald Trump created after his convulsions of insecurity led him to lie that widespread voter fraud led him to lose the popular vote by several million.
The sham commission, described by one White House adviser as a “shit show” that went “off the rails,” was beset with difficulties from the get-go. More than 40 states resisted its efforts to provide information, including red states like Mississippi, where the Secretary of State told the commission to “jump in the Gulf of Mexico.” A number of states across the country filed lawsuits; the commission was also sued by one of its own members.
That lawsuit, by Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, is ongoing despite the fact that the commission was shut down in a squawking surrender by the Trump administration last week.
A district judge last month ordered the voter fraud commission to provide internal communications and documents to Dunlap, who alleged that he was illegally excluded from the process. The Trump administration is now fighting the judge’s order because the commission has been eighty-sixed and no longer exists, the Huffington Post reports. But Dunlap isn’t having it:
Dunlap said after the commission was disbanded that he was more determined than ever to get the information he believed he was entitled to.
“Perhaps the only surprising aspect of the Department of Justice response is their rich blend of arrogance and contempt for the rule of law,” Dunlap said in a statement Saturday. “It is unthinkable, unconscionable, and un-American that the administration would engage in actions that demonstrate such a flagrant disregard for a court ruling and the rule of law.”
“I think my access—and the access to the information by the rest of the now-former members of the commission—is more critical than ever,” he added. “The government cannot cloak major undertakings in changes to public policy in total secrecy without any public scrutiny or accountability.”
Meanwhile, the Huffington Post reports that the ACLU filed an emergency motion in federal court to stop the commission from transferring data to the federal Department of Homeland Security, which the Trump administration had suggested would now take up the pretend investigation into the make-believe problem. However, Justice Department attorneys now say that the commission will not turn over voter data to other agencies, so this particular circus may have closed up its tent. The legal trouble, however, will continue, as a number of other entities have pending lawsuits seeking internal documents.