After a battle to prove his popularity in the United States, President Trump recently dismantled a voter fraud commission that he instituted to prove he not only won the Electoral College vote during the 2016 Presidential election, but also won the popular vote over Hillary Clinton.
FILE – In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump, responds to reporters asking questions as he leaves the White House in Washington. Trump has signed an executive order disbanding his voter fraud commission. The White House in a statement blamed the decision on numerous states that have refused to provide voter information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump tweeted in November 2016. The president claimed that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in that election. NPR reported that those claims were not substantiated by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was established to provide evidence of voter fraud.
The commission was terminated on Jan. 3, nearly eight months after its establishment.
“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,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Jan. 3. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action.”
The termination came about after the commission faced several lawsuits, including one by Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D), who was also a member of the commission itself. According to news reports, Dunlap sued the commission in an effort to reveal information about its activities. Other lawsuits centered on privacy concerns of states opposed to releasing detailed voter rolls, according to CNN.
“The President’s Election Integrity Commission was a vehicle launched for the singular purpose of laying the groundwork to promote voter suppression policies on a national scale,” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a statement on Jan. 3. “Today’s Executive Order disbanding the Commission is a victory for those who are concerned about ensuring access to the ballot box across the country.”
Despite the victory, Clarke said advocates must remain vigilant against unlawful actions by the Trump administration.