WASHINGTON (CBS SF/AP) — President Donald Trump has signed an executive order disbanding his voter fraud commission.
A White House statement is blaming the decision on numerous states that have refused to provide voter information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that, “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense,” Trump has signed an order to dissolve the commission and asked the Department of Homeland Security to determine the administration’s next steps.
Critics saw the commission as part of a conservative campaign to strip minority voters and poor people from the voter rolls, and to justify unfounded claims made by Trump that voter fraud cost him the popular vote in 2016.
Past studies have found voter fraud to be exceptionally rare.
The commission’s vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, says he will continue advising federal officials on election fraud issues.
Kobach said Wednesday that Trump’s decision to disband his election integrity commission was a “tactical change” and a “handoff” of its investigation to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Kobach said he expects to work closely with the department and the White House on election fraud issues going forward and to travel to Washington when necessary. He’s said he’s been in regular telephone contact with the Trump administration.
The conservative Republican secretary of state has championed strict voter identification laws in Kansas that have sparked multiple lawsuits.
Kobach, who occasionally writes opinion columns for Breitbart News, is also is running for the GOP nomination for governor this year.
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