By MarkBuckawicki (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

May 11, 2017; Washington Post

Prioritizing an investigation of an imaginary enemy, President Trump has signed an executive order to investigate his out-of-the-blue claims of widespread voter fraud. Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has aggressively pursued allegations of voter fraud in his state along with around a dozen others, are charged with reporting out their findings to the president next year.

Putting an extremist like Mr. Kobach at the helm of this commission is akin to putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department,” charged Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). One wonders if they will find the 3 to 5 million illegal aliens who Trump claimed had robbed him of the popular vote in November’s election.

“They all voted for Hillary. They didn’t vote for me,” said Trump in a January 25th interview with ABC News. “I don’t believe I got one.”

Nothing has been produced that even remotely would support such a claim nor, in fact, that there is indeed a problem with widespread voter fraud.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, called the commission “a sham and distraction,” alleging that the announcement was an attempt by Trump “to pivot” from his firing this week of James B. Comey as FBI director.

“He fired the person investigating a real threat to election integrity, and set up a probe of an imaginary threat,” Waldman said, referring to the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.

Meanwhile, Trump was calling out the now-fired Comey for being a “showboat and grandstander.” Calling on academics and public servants to refuse to participate with the commission, the American Civil Liberties Union has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the information that the Trump administration used as the basis for its voter fraud claims. As was reported by McClatchy DC, the ACLU believes that the agenda of the commission is not above board:

The panel is nothing but a pretext for disenfranchising Americans, said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.

“We have a president who has said he won the popular vote when he did not,” Ho said. “We have a commission that will be led, for all intents and purposes, by the king of voter suppression, Kris Kobach. So there’s no reason to believe that this commission will be anything other than a sham.”

—Ruth McCambridge