The Justice Department in a court filing Tuesday said that it had requested that former commissioners on President Trump’s now defunct voter fraud panel not share any non-public records collected by the commission with the Department of Homeland Security, and that DOJ lawyers asked vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, specifically to refrain from sharing the records.
“He has agreed to do so,” the filing said.
The filing was part of the continued litigation around the commission in the lawsuit a Democratic member, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, brought before the commission was shut down by President Trump. Dunlap has since asked the court to prevent Kobach from sharing the records, which include state voter roll data, with the DHS, particularly after Kobach told the media that the DHS would be taking over the commission’s work.
The Justice Department had previously argued that Kobach should not be treated as a defendant in the case — an argument DOJ attorneys reiterated Tuesday.
Dunlap brought the lawsuit in November, after he claimed he was shut out from the commission’s internal workings. In December, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled partially in his favor by ordering the commission to turn over communications and other documents Dunlap had been requested.
Less than two weeks later, President Trump announced that he was disbanding the commission, citing the costs of the various lawsuits, and that he was asking the “Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”
That — and comments by Kobach suggesting the the Department would undertake the comparison of state voter roll data to DHS non-citizen data, as he had hoped to do at the commission — prompted a new wave of legal actions that the DOJ is continuing to fight off.
Read the full filing below:
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