White House Official and DHS Debunk Trump’s Voter Fraud Lies

If deceitful Don Trump had even a modicum of shame, the news of yet another of his lies being debunked by his own White House would send the mendacious miscreant into hiding; but Trump has no shame any more than he has an honest bone in his corrupt body. After months of Trump’s tired claim that he was a victim of “massive voter fraud” in the 2016 election, Trump’s lie was put to rest by Trump’s  White House “announcement” that Trump’s “controversial voter fraud commission” failed to “uncover any findings of voter fraud in the 2016 general election.” The announcement comes a few days after Trump’s announcement disbanding the ridiculous “commission.”

Since Trump’s pathological narcissism prevented him from accepting that he lost the 2016 popular vote by about 2.8 million votes to Hillary Clinton, he claimed there was “massive voter fraud” in numbers exceeding about 2.8 million votes. So he tasked preacher Pence and Kris Kobach with convening a “commission” to ferret out “vulnerabilities in voting systems” that lead to the massive voter fraud Trump complained about. Trump even claimed that the commission had actually uncovered “substantial” voter fraud findings that were going to be handed to the Department of Homeland Security for further investigation and prosecution.

Commission co-chair, voter fraud fanatic, and current Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach joined Trump in lying about the “evidence” and told Breitbart News last week that the commission’s significant findings were being “handed off” to the Department of Homeland Security because “Democrats were becoming uncomfortable with how much [evidence] Republicans had discovered thus far.” Like Trump, Kobach is a dirty liar because the official word from the White House was that there are zero findings so the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be receiving zero records, findings, or data.

Kobach was not finished lying and said that despite Trump abolishing “the commission,” as a state official from Kansas he was too important to be ignored and would be in the middle of the federal effort to stop “massive voter fraud.” Kobach said he would be:

“Working closely with the White House and DHS to ensure the investigations continue. What’s happening is a tactical shift where the mission of the commission is being handed off to Homeland Security without the stonewalling by Democrats. They have absolutely no interest in stopping voter fraud. It’s truly extraordinary that one party in our system has made clear that they don’t care. Some people on the left were getting uncomfortable about how much we were finding out.”

Kobach must be maneuvering for a top spot among Trump’s liar’s club elite, because everything he said regarding “the commission” is a lie; and the Department of Homeland Security called him out. A DHS spokesperson put it bluntly:

Mr. Kobach is not advising DHS in a formal or informal manner. Of course, if an issue were to arise, we would work with him in his official capacity as the Kansas secretary of state as we do with any secretary of state and other state and local officials.”

The White House “officially” contradicting Trump and Kobach came in the form of a “sworn court declaration” by Donald J. Trump’s director of White House Information Technology, Charles Herndon.

Mr. Herndon said no matter what Kobach claimed, there would be “no Commission records or data transferred to the DHS or another agency” because the commission had no findings to “hand off.”  He did say that whatever “data” the “Commission” possessed would be given to “NARA [the National Archives and Records Administration] in accordance with federal law.” Otherwise the White House will destroy any state voter data pending a lawsuit against the “Commission” by a member of the “commission.”

This news that the commission found zero evidence of voter fraud is no revelation, but it does expose another Trump lie; that he disbanded the commission to save taxpayer dollars in legal fights with the states. It is not clear if Trump’s commission actually intended to take 44 Republican and Democratic states to court and attempt to force them to violate constitutional privacy laws or not. However, even Trump’s lawyers and Department of Justice had to fathom the folly of such an absurd scenario.

Besides finding zero evidence of any voter fraud, it is possible that “the commission” may have had to reveal the one legitimate “vulnerability in the voting systems” that Kris Kobach and Mike Pence embrace because it suppresses votes. Both of “the commission” co-chairs support Kobach’s “Interstate Crosscheck Program” that was devised specifically to create the appearance of “duplicate voter registrations” in the millions.

In fact, using the “Crosscheck” data of a person’s name and year of birth, the Washington Post discovered that in the 2016 general election:

Mike Pence registered to vote eight times and cast seven ballots across six states in the November 2016 election.”

It appears that Trump’s Voter Integrity Commission co-chair and vice president committed vote fraud several times in the last election and escaped detection or prosecution.  But all that really happened was that eight different men named Mike Pence born the same year as Trump’s Pence registered to vote in 2016, and seven of them went to the polls and cast a ballot. It is highly likely that neither Kobach nor Pence want any media reporting that their “Crosscheck” system is just a deceitful means of suppressing votes.

Despite report after study proving that “suspected vote fraud” was at most about 0.0000002 percent in the 2016 election, Trump and Republicans maintain it is a massive problem. That minute percentage squares with another humongous comprehensive study published in 2015 and ignored by Republicans nationwide. The study found that from 2000 to 2014 out of 1.2 billion votes cast in every federal, state, city, municipal and county election for every elected office in America, there were exactly 31 “officially suspected” cases of voter fraud. That amount of  “suspected fraud” is not “massive;” it is 0.0000000026 percent and yet since 2008 Republicans have used every voter suppression tactic under the Sun based on their assertion of “massive” voter fraud destroying democracy.

There is massive voter fraud but it is at the hands of lying Republicans with valuable assistance from the Koch brothers’ legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). There have been never-ending attacks on voting rights by Republicans nationwide and their typical ploy is founded on some devious ALEC-created legislation that only stops people of color and the poor from voting because they do not support Republicans.

The White House actually admitting that the real reason Trump had to disband his vaunted voter integrity clown show was because there were zero findings of voter fraud should have sent the lying Trump and Kobach into hiding. Despite the White House and Department of Homeland Security debunked Trump’s and Kobach’s lies about voter fraud, the Republicans will ramp up their attacks on voting rights in the upcoming midterm elections. Now that Republicans understand they can lie profusely and face no repercussions, Americans can expect a monumental Republican crusade to implement Pence and Kobach’s beloved “Crosscheck” system nationwide; not to stop voter fraud, but to aid the fascist Trump put the final nail in American democracy’s coffin.

Trump’s Voter Commission Does Exactly What Americans Feared

Donald Trump is widely regarded by anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of coming in contact with him as a vindictive piece of work. In particular he has built a reputation of “getting even” with any human being who doesn’t bend to his will or dares challenge anything he does. Billionaire Richard Branson related a story where Trump told him he would move the proverbial heaven and Earth, and spend the rest of his life trying, to destroy the 5 people who failed to “help him,” and he is now out to cause misery to Americans who oppose his corrupt voter suppression “commission.”

There is only a “voter integrity commission” because Trump cannot tolerate the idea that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by about 3 million votes. Remember, Trump still claims he lost 3 to 5 million votes to fraudulent (illegal immigrant) voters; a claim that has been so widely and often debunked that even Republicans know Trump is lying. But they also know that Trump’s fragile ego will allow them to go to extreme lengths to launch robust voter suppression tactics based on Trump’s claim and they are moving at breakneck speed to enact legislation restricting the right to vote to their white evangelical base. As of March of this year there were 20 Republican states enacting severe voter suppression laws and using Trump’s claim of “massive voter fraud” as justification.

When Trump tasked Mike Pence and voter-suppression expert Kris Kobach with demanding states hand over all voter data from the past ten years, including highly personal and confidential information, only a fool believed there was not a typical Republicans’ untoward motive behind it.

In fact, even Republican state election officials opposed the “demand” and were not bashful about telling the “commission” to go to Hell, or “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.” Trump’s response to 46 states refusing to cooperate was that even Republican election officials were afraid the results would show that he, Donald J. Trump, really won the popular vote and won by historically unheard of majorities.

What Trump discovered after foolishly calling for public comments on the request for their personal and private data was that it wasn’t just 46 state election officials who opposed the illegal maneuver, the public went ballistic. And, as if to justify every public commenter’s worst fears that the commission would publicize voters’ sensitive personal information, the commission duly publicized voters’ sensitive personal information.

Pence and Kobach released the contact information, along with some really angry comments, of everyone who responded on the White House website.

As noted by nearly everyone with a pulse, Mike Pence and Kris Kobach’s decision to publish the emails containing the names, phone numbers, home addresses and places of employment of Americans who were concerned that Trump’s  voter integrity commission was a nefarious plot to make such information public was no accident. In fact, there are already reports, and comments on the White House website, that many Americans are “deregistering to vote” to keep their private data out of Pence’s and Kobach’s dirty hands. However, even though the “commission” cannot access their private data from the state election officials, their voter suppression ploy worked by frightening voters to take their names off voter rolls.

What the people probably didn’t know prior to submitting their “public comments” was that now the White House website includes a warning that the “Commission may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted.

One of the commenters actually expressed his fear that the commission’s request for his personal data and identifying information would make him a target. Subsequently, the commenters’ email, replete with his current identifying information including his home address, was published on the White House website.

There was no reason whatsoever to publish the comments, much less the respondents’ personal contact information, except to use the White House website and taxpayer dollars to inform Trump’s hateful supporters of who to harass and intimidate and precisely where to find them. And there is little doubt that Trump acolytes will rush to defend their fascist hero based on a sampling of some of the less brutal comments courtesy of Salon’s Sophia Tesfaye. These are only a few printable “excerpts” from angry Americans sans their email addresses or personal identifying data still on the White House website.

  • Mr. Trump’s claims that millions of fraudulent votes were cast against him is the ravings of an egomaniac who can’t stand to lose
  • I hope and pray that you fail
  • The person reading this email should be ashamed to be supporting this effort.
  • It is obvious that your commission will be using this information, especially voting history, to target people who are likely to vote Democratic, and use various, well-known techniques to suppress as many of their votes as possible. I am a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. He would never condone such un-American behavior
  • P.S. I removed my name from voter rolls. And I’m a Republican!

That last comment about removing their name from voter rolls apparently is of no concern to the “king of voter suppression,” Kris Kobach, and one suspects that indeed was part of his voter suppression plot. Instead of being appalled that the administration’s actions would prompt even one registered voter to abandon participation in the democratic process, Kobach called it a “political stunt,” by a Republican voter no less. Kobach said that no matter that it is glaringly obvious Americans are so “fearful of what he’ll do with their personal information,” like making it public, that they are voluntarily “removing themselves from voter rolls.” The king of voter suppression said:

It could be a political stunt ― people who are trying to discredit the commission and withdrawing temporarily because they are politically active but planning to get back on the voter rolls before the election next November,”

If those voters live in Republican states with harsh voter suppression laws, they may never be allowed to register again; a fact they are likely aware of and one that Kobach knows is a fact. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) didn’t designate Kobach as the king of voter suppression without good cause and it is just one of the reasons why there is such opposition to Trump’s voter integrity commission; that and the fact that even Republicans understand that giving anyone connected with Trump personal information about voters will be used to against them.

If any idiot was confused as to why other Americans, including Republicans, were highly suspicious of what Trump would do with their personal voting and private information, the revelation that his commission revealed the private contact information about commenters opposed to the “commission” should clear up any confusion; including any doubts that the Trump administration is being run by criminal fascists.

Trump’s Tyranny To Fix Elections Faces Increasing Opposition

 

Some Americans may recall that after the horrific slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School when President Obama called for common sense gun safety measures,  Republicans were berserk with rage. One of the common cries was that if Americans registered their firearms, the federal government would have their personal information and “who knows what horrors” the federal government would inflict on the good folks and their guns. Suffice it to say that Republicans vehemently oppose the federal government having any more “reach” or information about the citizens and their personal affairs and private information.

Now it is a different story, and it is not because Republicans suddenly believe Americans’ guns should be registered. It is because there is an authoritarian megalomaniac in the White House and an anti-democracy cabal ensconced deep within the Republican Party and racist conservative movement.

Because white trash Trump cannot accept that he lost the popular vote by substantial numbers, he convened a special election commission to ferret out the non-existent massive voter fraud he claims cost him the people’s overwhelming support. Trump’s stated reason for a special commission on election integrity is allegedly “to promote fair and honest federal elections.” Pay no mind that Trump’s Russian masters succeeded at denying Americans a “fair and honest federal election” in 2016; he won.

Trump tapped Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) as his vote-suppression enforcer. Kobach is renowned for lying and claiming massive voter fraud exists going back to 2008, but he has yet to find any in Kansas. So he is going national as a ruse to compile the voting records and personal data from every registered voter in all 50 states for the Trump administration to use in the next election.

One can only imagine what the corrupt and criminal Trump intends to do with voting and personal data of over 230 million eligible American voters. It is noteworthy that Kobach and Trump have both made universally-debunked claims that large numbers of undocumented immigrants voted in the 2016 U.S. elections.

Kobach is so enthusiastic to burrow into nearly a quarter-of-a-billion Americans’ personal and private business that he sent out a letter to all 50 states “requesting voters’ names, addresses, their birthdays, party affiliation, military status, felony convictions, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, and their voting history dating back ten years, to 2006.” This federal intrusion into states’ business, and Americans’ private lives, is the result of a Trump executive order.

It is noteworthy that no Republican has screamed out “tyranny or executive overreach” into Americans’ private lives and it would be curious if Republicans were not accomplished hypocrites. During President Obama’s 8-year tenure, a common Republican complaint was that his executive orders were criminal and that asking Congress to “consider” legislation requiring firearm registration was patently unconstitutional, tantamount to fascism, and a tyrannical federal governments’ intrusion into gun owners’ private lives and information.

If Kobach and Trump want a comprehensive study of voting fraud in “federal elections,” they could save the nation and all 50 states a fair amount of money if they were serious about their bovine excrement “voter fraud” claims. There is a well-documented and impressive study of all 1.1 billion votes cast in every federal, state, and municipal election for every political office dating back to the 2000 presidential election. That exhaustive study found that there were exactly 31 “credible cases” of voting anomalies across the nation over a 14 year period.

As of yesterday, Friday, there were 24 states that told the Trump they were not, in fact, handing over sensitive voter information to the federal government; especially with an anti-democracy administration with a tyrant in the White House.

For example, Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe (D) issued a statement saying that he had “no intention” of fulfilling Trump’s demand. Mr. McCauliffe defended Virginia’s “voting fairness” and election integrity, and he rightly said Trump’s commission is “based on the false notion of widespread voter fraud in the last election.” He also stated the obvious that there is likely an ulterior motive to Trump’s election integrity commission.

At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.

California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla (D), also responded to Kobach saying:

I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians ‘voted illegally’ in the last election.

California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, Vice President, and [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach.”

Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), said that she does not intend to acquiesce to Trump and Kobach’s “request” for a massive release of voters’ personal data. She said:

The president created his election commission based on the false notion that ‘voter fraud’ is a widespread issue — it is not. I do not intend to release Kentuckians’ sensitive personal data to the federal government.” 

Mississippi’s Republican Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, was a tad more abrupt in relating that, like a growing number of state election officials, he definitely will not be turning over any sensitive personal information whatsoever to the panel. Mr. Hoseman promptly told the members of Trump’s “voter fraud commission” to “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor, Tom Wolf, said he was joining the other state officials and that: “We will not participate in this systematic effort to suppress the vote.”

To demonstrate how intrusive the Trump’s commission if behaving, even a member of the commission said her state was not going to comply. The president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Connie Lawson (R) said:

Indiana law doesn’t permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach. Under Indiana public records laws, certain voter info is available to the public, the media and any other person who requested the information for non-commercial purposes. The information publicly available is name, address and congressional district assignment.”

Nellie Gorbea (D) is Rhode Island’s Secretary of State and she was pointed in her criticism of the commission and particularly Kobach as chief vote suppressor. She said Kobach was wholly “unfit to lead the commission, given his record of strict voting laws as well as a ‘recent court fine for failing to produce documents related to a lawsuit over voting laws.’ It is deeply troubling that he has been given oversight of this commission by the president.”

Kobach has been a staunch ALEC-Heritage Foundation advocate for enacting strict voter suppression laws he says are necessary to combat the “massive voter” fraud he has been unable to find. Democracy advocates rightly charge that the voting laws ALEC and Heritage demand are specifically devised “to hinder access to the polls primarily for elderly and minority voters.”

Many officials have questions about “the commission’s discretion obtaining the confidential documents.”  Those “questions” are code for they don’t trust the Trump administration whatsoever. One official spoke for the state of Wisconsin and said:

State statutes permit the [Wisconsin commission] to share confidential information in limited circumstances with law enforcement agencies or agencies of other states. The Presidential Commission does not qualify under either of these categories.

There is no doubt that this so-called “commission” is not about rooting out and preventing the nearly non-existent vote fraud Trump claims cost him the popular vote victory. The statistics showing there is no such thing as even minor vote fraud are readily available to anyone, and Trump’s and Republicans’ claim that there is any voter fraud has been widely debunked for a decade.

Look, Trump is corrupt, and criminally-corrupt to boot; so there is every expectation his real reason for wanting the private data and voting information for 230 million Americans has nothing to do with “election integrity” and everything to do with voter suppression and intimidation – exactly what one expects from an authoritarian regime.