The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for any possible facts supporting Donald Trump’s claim that the presidential election was tainted by voter fraud.
Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, called the commission a “boondoggle” and part of Trump’s plan to “spread his own fake news about election integrity.” Trump has claimed that up to 5 million votes were cast illegally so that he lost the popular vote to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes.
“The president ... has alleged that ‘millions of votes’ were ‘illegally’ cast ‘for the other side.’ No concrete evidence has been provided thus far to support the president’s serious indictment against American democracy. Yet the president’s allegations are the basis of an executive order ... to establish a ‘Commission on Election Integrity,’” states the ACLU’s request, which it filed with the Office of the Vice President. “This FOIA demands that the government release the factual basis and evidence supporting the president’s allegations.”
The FOIA request is particularly important because of fears that commission findings could ironically be used to suppress voting by minorities.
The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School filed a request Friday under the Kansas Open Records Act for information concerning voting in that state and stiff proof-of-citizenship restrictions imposed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who’s the new co-chair of Trump’s commission along with Vice President Mike Pence.
The commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal elections, such as fraudulent voting.
Brennan Center President Michael Waldman called the commission a “sham and distraction” in an effort to try and find proof of the president’s “absurd” voter fraud claim.
Trump “fired the person investigating a real threat to election integrity” — ousted FBI Director James Comey — “and set up a probe of an imaginary threat,” Waldman said.