GOP Commissioner: Trump Voter Fraud Panel On Hold As It Navigates Lawsuits

Darron Cummings/AP

A Republican member of President Trump’s shady voter fraud commission told reporters Wednesday that, as far as she knew, the commission’s work was on pause as it gets through some of the lawsuits against it.

“It’s my understanding that there were just so many lawsuits against the commission, that right now there’s nothing going on,” Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said, after appearing at a hearing in front of the Committee on House Administration.

She said that the emails and conversations among the commissioners had stopped for the time being, and she was not aware of the plans for the commission’s next meeting. Unlike some of the Democratic commission members who have raised concerns about the lack of transparency, she was not bothered by the absence of information about the commission’s next steps.

“It’s not the fact that anybody’s being shut out, it’s just the fact that they wanted to get some of these lawsuits settled and then move forward,” she said.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, a Democratic member of the commission, wrote a letter to the commission’s executive director, Andrew Kossack, last week in which he said there was a “frustration with the lack of information that people are able to get out of the commission.” Dunlap told TPM that the reports that a commission researcher had been arrested on child porn charges was the final straw that prompted him to write the letter, as he was unaware of what research the staffer, Ronald Williams, was doing for the commission.

Alan King, an Alabama probate judge and a Democrat on the commission, has also said he was not sure what the commission has done since its last meeting in July.

Lawson on Wednesday said she also didn’t know the arrested researcher.  She added that she did not know any of the staff that was working for the commission, besides Kossack. Nonetheless, she expected that the commission would at some point meet again, even as it was very unlikely they would meet their goal of producing a final report by the February meeting of the National Association of Secretary of States.

“The information I received was, ‘Look, we just wanted to get some of these things behind us so we can get to work.’ It’s very chilling to know that you can’t really work without somebody suing over something that you’ve done,” Lawson said.

“It’s not that anybody would do anything wrong, but it’s just very chilling,” she later added.

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