Documents from Trump's Election Integrity Commission reveal group's tactics

Emails from the now dissolved Commission on Election Integrity show the group's tactics for picking people and data to try and prove false claims of widespread illegal voting.

New documents released after a lengthy court battle show the now-disbanded Election Integrity Commission's questionable methods pursued shortly after President Donald Trump falsely claimed there were millions of illegal votes cast in the 2016 Presidential Election.

The documents were released at the request of a former commission member, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, who accused the commission of secrecy and deceptive tactics.

"In addition to lacking any evidence of widespread voter fraud, the documents reveal the reasons why some Commissioners were intent on keeping the Commission's work secret," Dunlap wrote in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Chairperson of the Commission on Election Integrity.

Among thousands of pages of documents released, emails between members show the attempts by some to be selective at who would be able to speak before the commission, sometimes classifying people by religion.

"He's also a Christian and retired Navy Lt. Colonel," read one email by Christy McCormick, a commission member. "He's a believer in the cause and I think he would probably be willing to help us at a low cost."

The commission sought to gather info obtain "available voter roll data" from all states in June 2017. Some states complied, others did not.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson did provide what's known as Qualified Voter File (QVF), but did not provide other information requested by the commission such as social security numbers, dates of birth and partisan affiliation.

In a letter to Pence, Johnson seems weary about the commission's intentions.

"Please be aware that I believe the the federal government should not play a substantive role in election administration," she wrote.

Johnson then pivoted in the letter, and offered some recommendations to clean up voter roles as well as propose the creation of a national database repository of election-related crimes.

"I respectfully ask that you consider these recommendations as you move forward with your efforts to eliminate vulnerabilities to voter fraud, voter suppression, and other election-related crimes," she wrote.

In another letter to the commission, Johnson notes that in the 2016 presidential election, 31 voters in Michigan were identified as voting both with an absentee ballot and a ballot issued in person -- that's far short of the incorrect claim of millions of illegal votes claimed by Trump.

After struggling to obtain voter information from various states and amid criticism for its tactics, the commission was dissolved in 2018.


close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off