Government & Politics

Emails related to Kobach-led voting commission show ‘pre-ordained outcome,’ Dem says

President Donald Trump, with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, speaks at a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on July 19, 2017, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington.
President Donald Trump, with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, speaks at a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on July 19, 2017, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Associated Press

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap released a trove of documents Friday afternoon that he says show that the leaders of a disbanded presidential commission went into an investigation of voter fraud with predetermined outcomes.

Dunlap, a Democrat, served on the commission but filed suit against the federal government for the documents after he said he was left out of key discussions related to the commission, which was headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

“Contrary to what we were promised, these documents show that there was, in fact, a pre-ordained outcome to this commission to demonstrate widespread voter fraud,without any evidence to back it up,” Dunlap said in a letter to Pence and Kobach.

The release of the documents comes two weeks after Dunlap received them and four days before Kansas holds its primary election. Kobach is running for the Republican nomination for governor.

Kobach’s campaign did not respond to a question about Dunlap’s release of the documents.

The top election official in Kansas has regularly promoted the idea of widespread voter fraud during his eight years in office and has been cited by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as the source of Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote in 2016.

The emails released by Dunlap’s office show that Kobach corresponded with attorneys working in Pence’s office about his desire to have an analyst testify in favor of the idea that millions of non-citizens had voted.

He also shared with Pence’s staff a draft of his response to an inquiry from The Star about his argument that because his work on the commission falls outside his official duties, he did not have to release his emails about it under the Kansas Open Records Act.

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