With the firing of FBI Director James Comey and Russia’s successful trolling of the Oval Office, Donald Trump is hoping to turn the tide in his favor with a new executive order concerning voter fraud and suppression. Per several administration officials, ABC News reports the White House will announce the formation of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity in an official release later today. Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will serve as the commission’s chair and vice chair, respectively.
The commission, which will include Republicans and Democrats, will be tasked with studying “vulnerabilities” in U.S. voting systems and potential effects on “improper voting, fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting,” according to one official with knowledge of the announcement.
Toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump and some of his more outspoken supporters, like Roger Stone, found themselves in legal trouble for potentially harassing or intimidating voters in Ohio. Why? Because, the Republican nominee claimed, there were nefarious attempts by Democrats and progressives to illegally modify the vote count. And even when the electoral college gave him the election win, then President-elect Trump repeatedly claimed millions of illegal voters were cast for Clinton.
The reports Trump and his team relied on to fuel their “illegal votes” conspiracy theory ultimately proved to be just a ridiculous, if not more so. Yet despite election officials finding “no credible allegations” of voter fraud or suppression, Trump stuck to his guns and often suggested his presidency would tackle the issue head-on in some official capacity. Thursday’s potential executive order and the commission therein, it seems, suggest the president will keep his promise.
Soon after the ABC News report went live, former Missouri State Secretary Jason Kander tweeted out a story about a personal encounter with Kris Kobach, the announced commission’s vice chair, at a conference in 2013. Kobach, who momentarily gained fame during the 2016 election for his comments on a potential Muslim registry, apparently wanted to “pass a resolution saying the federal government should let states set all the election policies.” Kander denounced the resolution as an attempt to inject partisanship into a non-partisan organization, but Kobach rejected his argument and moved forward with his measure.
It (hilariously) didn’t pass because, as Kander claims, Kobach “had to leave to catch a flight to one of his paid consulting gigs” while he was also working “full time” as the Kansas State Secretary. He left a proxy from his office to cast his vote, but upon further review, it was revealed Kobach’s proxy was actually a vendor — thereby rendering the vote null and tanking the resolution. “We have had no substantive conversations since,” Kander concludes.
(Via ABC News)