A member of Trump’s own voter fraud panel, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, has just come forward claiming that the panel is violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
He maintains that they are purposely keeping Democratic members on the panel from reviewing internal documents, in direct violation of federal law.
The disclosure is sending shockwaves through the Trump administration after a lawsuit was filed in federal court on Dunlap’s behalf. Currently, Vice President Mike Pence is in charge of the panel, bringing his leadership directives under direct scrutiny.
“I’ve made repeated requests about what the commission is working on,” Dunlap told NBC News. “I’m asking for a schedule, not the nuclear secrets of the country.
Dunlap further alleged on MSNBC that the voter fraud commission is trying everything it can do to keep from being transparent on its real reason for functioning, which many claim is just a way to support findings made by President Trump that voter fraud exists, and is the main reason Trump lost the popular vote.
Per NBC News:
“Dunlap sent a letter to commission staff in October asking for documents and updates that he said he needed to do his work as a member, but said his concerns were ignored, according to the suit. Meanwhile, he claimed in the suit, Republican commission members have pressed forward.
“The commission’s failure to communicate with or involve Secretary Dunlap and other Democratic commissioners in proceedings renders them mere figureheads and violates FACA’s requirement that advisory committees be balanced,” the suit said.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like this,” Dunlap told NBC News. “I’ve served on minor commissions and major commissions … after a while I just felt like it was time to press the point.”
In the past, Trump has stated that millions of people voted illegally, although he has yet to present any evidence of this. Voter fraud experts simply can’t find any, either.
“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally” Trump said.
This is just the latest controversy to hit Trump’s panel. Since its inception, the commission has been rejected by 44 states refusing to hand over voters’ personal information, such as birth dates, drivers license numbers and Social Security numbers. When Trump was presented with the backlash, he came out publicly and said: “What are they trying to hide?”
For people like Secretary of State John H. Merrill, he replied, simply nothing. It wasn’t about hiding anything, but they wouldn’t help give Trump and his administration anything that could be used to illegally target voters.
“The Secretary of State’s Office will comply with the request if we are convinced that the overall effort will produce the necessary results to accomplish the Commission’s stated goal without compromising the integrity of the voter rolls and the elections process in Alabama,” Merrill said in a statement.
California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla had an even harsher response:
“I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally,” Padilla said in a statement. “California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections.”