Trump Scraps His Own Controversial Commission

Voter fraud panel had a short and troubled existence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2018 1:05 AM CST
Trump Decommissions Voter Fraud Commission
Voters cast their election ballots inside a polling place Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Springfield, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

President Trump's controversial voter fraud commission is history after holding a grand total of two meetings. The White House says the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity—set up last year to investigate Trump's claims that millions of people illegally voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016—is being disbanded because many states defied its requests for voter data, reports CNN. "Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission," Trump said in a statement Wednesday. While it was in operation, the commission faced multiple lawsuits and accusations that it had broken the law with its requests for information.

Officials say the Department of Homeland Security might now take over the commission's work. The commission—which Democrats called a "sham" perpetuating "baseless claims" of fraud—was chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, though Pence eventually distanced himself from its work, the Washington Post reports. The commission also suffered setbacks including a lawsuit from Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, one of its members, who claimed he was being denied access to its records, and the arrest of a commission researcher on child pornography charges. White House sources tell Politico that the commission was something Steve Bannon pushed for and it "should've never been in place." (More voter fraud stories.)

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