Further evidence emerged yesterday that the election integrity commission established by Donald Trump found no voter fraud and that it was a fraud itself — biased to help those hoping to prove Trump really won the 2016 popular vote.
Pro Publica reports on documents unearthed from the disbanded commission, driven by the rogue Kansas politician Kris Kobach.
In January, Trump disbanded the commission, which by then had produced little if any evidence that voter fraud was a significant menace.
Today, thousands of commission documents were released that show aspects of the body’s inner workings. As critics have suggested, the records — a mix of memos, internal emails and reports — make clear the commission’s work was driven by a small number of members who were convinced voter fraud was widespread, and that other members were often excluded from critical decisions about the commission’s aims and tactics.
The documents were provided to ProPublica by American Oversight — a group that provided legal representation to Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, who had been a Democratic member of the commission. Dunlap has contended that the commission’s leaders left him out of key deliberations, which he was entitled to participate in by law.
An Arkansas man, the late David Dunn, served on the commission because of his friendship with Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, a friend of Kobach and himself a participant in voter purge. Arkansas was the first state to comply with the commission’s data requests, while many states resisted because of the sweep of information Kobach sought and concerns about
Trump claimed the commission had found “substantial evidence” of fraud. The documents indicate otherwise:
On Nov. 18, 2017, Andrew Kossack — the executive director of the commission — circulated a draft “Staff Report” on the commission’s work. The report is a summary of the commission’s efforts, which Kossack appears to have been compiling beginning in August. The draft report included a prewritten section called “Evidence of Election Integrity and Voter Fraud Issues.” The section, with few exceptions, wound up almost entirely blank.
Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, said the lack of material in the section set aside for evidence of fraud or other voting problems “shows that the White House knew, or at least should have known, that it was blatantly lying when they made those claims in January.”
Dunlap spoke with the Washington Post about the “bizarre” endeavor.
“After reading this,” Dunlap said of the more than 8,000 pages of documents in an interview with The Washington Post, “I see that it wasn’t just a matter of investigating President Trump’s claims that three to five million people voted illegally, but the goal of the commission seems to have been to validate those claims.”