President Trump on Wednesday dissolved a controversial commission that was created to investigate his unfounded and manipulative claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.
The White House said Trump has decided to disband the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity because several states didn’t hand over voter information.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that “rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense,” Trump signed an executive order destroying the panel and handing the matter over to the Department of Homeland Security.
The order brought a sudden end to a highly touted commission that Trump created last May.
It was created months after Trump claimed, without citing evidence, that millions of people had voted illegally in the 2016 election, stealing away a popular-vote victory against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Worse yet, many of his supporters believed him, an early warning that they would believe the lies he told them without question.
Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a dedicated supporter of voter ID laws, which have been shown to have little effect besides disenfranchising minorities and the poor, led the commission. It was composed of Republicans and Democrats.
The panel met twice, but was bogged down amid states’ unwillingness to obey its requests and lawsuits alleging it did not observe federal record-keeping laws.
The Government Accountability Office announced in October 2017 it was opening an investigation into the commission, as requested by three Democratic senators who claimed the panel did not properly disclose its work.
Democrats and civil-rights groups said the commission was part of a broader conservative effort to deprive minorities of voting rights and a façade to back up the president’s lies.
“The claim of widespread voter fraud in the United States is in fact, fraud. The demise of this commission should put this issue to rest,” Michael Waldman, the president of the liberal Brennan Center for Justice, said.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was happy about the panel’s end, calling it a “front to suppress the vote, perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims” and that it “was ridiculed from one end of the country to the other.”
The announcement of the panel’s death capped off a chaotic news day at the White House, which scrambled to do damage control for former chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s explosive criticism of the egomaniacal president and his family in a new book.
It also came roughly 24 hours after Trump immaturely challenged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter over the size of his “nuclear button,” a comment that brought back fears of a deadly conflict with Pyongyang.