Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap accused the White House of falsely implying widespread voter fraud, releasing thousands of pages of documents handed over to him as a former member of President Trump’s now-disbanded Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
In a scathing letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who led the commission, Dunlap said Republicans launched the commission to reach a “pre-ordained outcome” and he alleged that drafts of a commission report included a section on evidence of voter fraud that was “glaringly empty.”
Dunlap – a Democrat – charged that claims of “substantial evidence of voter fraud” were calculated to validate the President’s false assertions “that millions of illegal votes were cast during the 2016 elections.”
Trump convened the panel to investigate the 2016 presidential election after making unsubstantiated claims that between 3 million and 5 million ballots were illegally cast. The commission met twice and failed to issue a report.
“Now, however, after months of litigation that should not have been necessary, I can report that the statements of Vice Chair Kobach and the White House were, in fact, false,” Dunlap wrote. “I have reviewed the Commission documents made available to me and they do not contain evidence of widespread voter fraud. Indeed, while staff prepared drafts of a report to be issued to the commission, the sections on evidence of voter fraud are glaringly empty. That the commission predicted it would find widespread evidence of fraud actually reveals a troubling bias.”
Dunlap was appointed to the Commission on Election Integrity but he was forced to sue for documents that should have been released to members because the U.S. Department of Justice refused to hand them over to the Democrat on grounds that Trump dissolved the commission by executive order.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the records be handed over to Dunlap, who spent a few weeks reviewing them before releasing all of the documents to the public.
The order includes communications between commissioners, with staff of federal agencies, with commission staff and related to the development of policy proposals, from its formation in May 11, 2017 to its termination on Jan. 3, 2018.
“It’s calling into the darkness, looking for voter fraud,” said Dunlap. “There’s no real evidence of it anywhere.”
Kobach, who acted as vice-chair of the commission pushed back Friday on Dunlap’s findings but Pence, who served as chair, did not respond to requests for comment.
“For some people, no matter how many cases of voter fraud you show them, there will never be enough for them to admit that there’s a problem,” said Kobach. “It appears that Secretary Dunlap is willfully blind to the voter fraud in front of his nose.”
“There is no single document that reveals there is no widespread voter fraud,” said Dunlap. “Instead, I rely on the lack of any evidence in the totality of what I have reviewed. Accordingly, after reviewing the material, I have concluded that my only recourse is to publish all of the documents made available to me, so Americans can conclude for themselves that evidence to support the statements of Vice Chair Kobach and the White House regarding the purported preliminary findings of the commission does not exist.”
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