Democrats aren’t buying that the Justice Department is not involved with President Donald Trump’s commission convened to investigate voter fraud, which is just a facade concealing the administration’s effort to suppress the vote, and they are demanding DOJ to come clean.
Trump’s claim that millions voted illegally last November, but several studies and investigations have concluded it is not true. Experts have also warned that the Commission may be working to make it hard for minorities to vote in the next election.
Seven Democratic senators on Tuesday asked the Department of Justice to explain any involvement it has with President Donald Trump’s commission convened to investigate voter fraud, several news outlets reported Tuesday afternoon.
DOJ officials have said it has no involvement with the commission, which Trump created in May. But in a Tuesday letter, Democrats said two incidents made them suspicious.
As reported by The Huffington Post:
In June, the department sent an unusual letter to 44 states asking them for information on their practices for purging voters from the rolls. The same day, the voter fraud panel sent out a request to all 50 states for sensitive voter information. Earlier this month, a public records request by the Campaign Legal Center revealed that a February email from Hans von Spakovsky, a commission member, was forwarded to the Department of Justice with instructions for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to read it. In the email, von Spakovsky said Democrats shouldn’t be appointed to the commission and lamented it also might be filled with Republicans whose views were too mainstream.
In the letter, written by seven Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee —Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Al Franken (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)— the lawmakers raised questions about those developments:
“These developments underscore the concerns many of us have raised about a return to the illegal politicization of the Department’s Civil Rights Division that took place under the Bush administration, and raise questions about the role of Department leadership in the formation and operation of this nakedly partisan commission,” the letter says. ”It would be a low moment for the Department to have been a facilitator of the myth ― perhaps a fraud in its own right ― that widespread voter fraud is a problem plaguing our election system, especially when the Department has itself produced evidence to the contrary.”
The senators also called the commission “little more than a platform for voter suppression advocates” and suggested the Justice Department wasn’t being entirely forthcoming in its response to the Campaign Legal Center’s public records request under the Freedom of Information Act.
The senators also asked if Sessions had used a private email address for any of the correspondence involved in the FOIA request. At least six White House advisers have used personal email accounts, a move that has drawn increased attention in light of Trump’s repeated criticisms of rival Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign for using a private email server while she was secretary of state.