In a surprise move, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he was dissolving the bogus voter fraud commission he created after claiming without evidence that “millions” of people voted illegally in 2016.
“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” Trump said in a statement via the White House press secretary. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”
The commission had faced numerous lawsuits, including from one of its own commissioners, since its creation last May. It was vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who is known for pushing restrictive voting laws.
Civil rights groups worried that it would be use as a pretext to push for voting restrictions that would disproportionately disenfranchise minority voters, while privacy groups object to Kobach’s request for state voter roll information.
The commission met publicly only twice, in July and in September, while Democratic commissioner Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap alleged in a lawsuit that he had been cut out of its internal operations.
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Read the full executive order below:
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TERMINATION OF PRESIDENTIAL
ADVISORY COMMISSION ON ELECTION INTEGRITY
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Executive Order 13799 of May 11, 2017 (Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity), is hereby revoked, and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is accordingly terminated.
Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party (other than by the United States) against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 3, 2018.