President Donald Trump recently disbanded his controversial voter fraud commission, which had been investigating his unsubstantiated claims of rampant voter fraud, particularly during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has shifted the responsibility of carrying out the investigation from the dissolved commission to the Department of Homeland Security.
“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” a statement from the president read. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission.”
Now that the commission has been put to an end, the Trump administration has been given the duty of handling the data that the commission had gathered. The administration’s plans for the data are exceedingly shocking.
The White House has the intention of destroying the voter data collected, the Justice Department stated in a court filing on Tuesday night.
In a declaration submitted to a federal court in Washington, the White House Director of Information Technology Charles Hendon said that officials plan to erase the information instead of sending it to the Department of Homeland Security or the National Archives and Records Administration.
He added that Which House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ remark last week that the commission’s “preliminary findings” were being sent to DHS was false. He wrote that “the Commission did not create any preliminary findings.”
On Tuesday, lawyers for one of the former commission’s members, Maine Secretary of State Mattew Dunlap, asked the U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to put a stop to any effort to move or copy the voter data to another federal agency.
“The state voter data will not be transferred to, or accessed by, DHS or any other agency, except to the National Archives and Records Administration (‘NARA’), pursuant to federal law, if the records are not otherwise destroyed,” Herndon stated. “Pending resolution of outstanding litigation involving the Commission, and pending consultation with NARA, the White House intends to destroy all state voter data.”
In the earlier stages of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, the commission’s vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, asked all 50 states to submit their voter rolls and asked for information like partial social security numbers and criminal conviction data.
Dozens of states pushed back against the request. The commission ran into eight different lawsuits, some of which alleged that the panel was violating the law in the collection or handling of the data.
If the data that was gathered is destroyed, DHS or ICE will have to go through similar efforts and overcome similar obstacles in order to examine illegal voting and will have to start from scratch.