In a tweet Monday morning, President Trump wrote that law enforcement has been instructed to “watch closely” for “ILLEGAL VOTING and threatened “Maximum Criminal Penalties” against “anyone caught.”
Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election (or Early Voting). Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2018
The extraordinary threat from a sitting president the day before Election Day mirrors Trump’s baseless claims of massive voter fraud in the 2016 election, which became the pretext for him to create his ill-fated voter fraud commission.
In another tweet earlier today, Trump accused CNN of running “Fake Suppression Polls.”
“Don’t fall for the Suppression Game. Go out & VOTE,” Trump wrote an hour before threatening to prosecute those accused of “illegal voting.”
Trump’s tweets follow attempts at voter suppression around the country.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp accused Democrats of “hacking” in an evidence-free assertion, using his position to open an investigation into his opponent, Stacey Abrams.
In Kansas, Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach has embroiled himself in another scandal over a restrictive voter ID law in his state.