Maine’s Democratic secretary of state on Friday accused the White House of lying about widespread voter fraud after he took part in an expensive, unnecessary investigation into the 2016 presidential election.
Matt Dunlap, one of four Democrats among the 11 members of the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity investigating claims of fraud, said he found absolutely no indication that votes were illegally cast after looking through 8,000 pages of documents he obtained last month in a court order.
“I have reviewed the commission documents made available to me and they do not contain evidence of widespread voter fraud,″ Dunlap wrote in a biting letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who led the commission, which was disbanded mid-probe. “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 ... reveals a troubling bias.”
Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, which represented Dunlap in his lawsuit to get access to commission records said, “President Trump’s blue ribbon commission on voter fraud was exactly what the public feared: a thinly veiled effort to ratify the president’s absurd claim that millions of illegal votes were cast in 2016.”
“The commission did not find evidence of widespread voter fraud and the White House lied to the public when they claimed it did,” he added.
Last year, Trump created his advisory commission on voting fraud after making unsubstantiated claims that he only lost the popular vote by some 3 million votes because as many as 5 million votes were cast illegally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
No evidence was produced to support his claim, and the commission was disbanded in January after meeting twice, despite its findings of “substantial evidence of voter fraud,” according to the White House. The commission has not issued a report.
Dunlap claimed he and other members had no idea what the panel was doing, and he sued for access to all the commission’s documents. He told The Washington Post that serving on the commission was the “the most bizarre thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
Dunlap has publicly released all of the documents he obtained; they’re available on the American Oversight website.
Kobach told The Associated Press in a statement that Dunlap is “willfully blind to the voter fraud in front of his nose.” He claimed there have been more than 1,000 convictions for voter fraud since 2000 and that the commission presented 8,400 instances of double voting in the 2016 election in 20 states.
Dunlap said none of those figures were ever brought to the commission, nor are they in the commission’s documents he obtained, nor has Kobach presented any evidence of his claim of double voting. He said the commission was told there were 1,000 convictions for voter fraud since 1948, not 2000.
Kobach is currently running for governor of Kansas.