President Trump shuts down voter fraud commission

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Image: President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Dec. 22. Michael Reynolds / EPA file

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The commission, formally called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, has been bedeviled by internal dissension, threats of litigation and the refusal of some states to provide information. Its last known meeting was Sept. 12.

“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” Trump said in a brief statement early Wednesday evening.

“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.”

Related:

Trump’s voter fraud panel has gone dark. Members don’t know why.

The president didn’t say why the Department of Homeland Security would continue the commission’s work. But it has already been investigating allegations of Russian tampering with voter registration systems in at least 20 states.

From the beginning, the commission has been heavily criticized for seeking massive amounts of voter data from every state. Many states have refused to cooperate.

The panel has been sued by civil liberties and privacy rights advocates,

including one of its own members, and multiple ethics watchdogs have filed complaints. David Dunn, a Democratic member of the panel, died in October, leaving the group with seven Republicans and four Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog agency, said last year that it would

investigate the commission’s funding, internal operations and handling of tens of millions of sensitive voter files.

Related:

Meet the bitterly divided members of Trump’s vote fraud panel

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the commission “a front to suppress the vote” and to “perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims” on Wednesday night.

“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,” Schumer said on Twitter.

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