Democrats Ask DOJ for Documents Showing Coordination with Trump Voter Fraud Commission
The White House is prohibited from engaging in any activities aimed at vote suppression or coordinating with entities engaged in vote suppression but Democrats on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee believe that policy may have been breached by the Trump administration.
Judiciary Democrats Tuesday ordered the Department of Justice to produce any documents that may show it coordinated with the Trump Voter Fraud Commission. Democrats believe the Commission is a back door by the Trump administration to minority vote suppression.
All Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking the Justice Department to produce documents described in court records that show such coordination is taking place.
“If these communications concern ongoing or contemplated cases or investigations in the Civil Rights Division, they could violate the Administration’s policy limiting contacts between the White House and the Department,” the Senators continue. “Full disclosure of these documents is necessary for Congress to provide appropriate oversight on this issue.”
The Senators’ letter follows a similar request to the Justice Department in late September that has gone unanswered.
Led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the group said court records suggest the Department of Justice coordinated with President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which has sought sensitive voter roll data on the majority of the voting public and conducted highly partisan hearings based on discredited allegations of voter fraud.
At the beginning of the month, in a court case between the Commission and the civil rights group Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Commission produced an index of hundreds of Commission-related documents being withheld by the Department. Entries on the list “appear to show that the Department was coordinating with the Commission about data collection and other voting issues,” the Senators write.
The Democrats believe that if these coordination efforts concern current or future investigations by the DOJ Civil Rights Division, that could be breaking the law limiting contacts between White House and the justice department.
“If these communications concern ongoing or contemplated cases or investigations in the Civil Rights Division, they could violate the Administration’s policy limiting contacts between the White House and the Department,” the Senators said. “Full disclosure of these documents is necessary for Congress to provide appropriate oversight on this issue.”
In March, former Justice Department Civil Rights Division staffer J. Christopher Adams, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, and Kansas Secretary of State and Commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach called for ridding the Civil Rights Division of “ideological rot.”
They proposed doing so by stripping career attorneys of hiring and firing authority and vesting that authority with Trump political appointees.
Senate Democrats said that three months later the Commission and the Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division sent letters on the same day to state election officials seeking voter roll information.
Democrats believe the Trump administration may be engaged in efforts at minority vote suppression heading into the 2018 and 2020 elections. Any efforts aimed at vote suppression is against the law.
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