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Following State Resistance and Court Order to Produce Documents, Trump Dissolves Kobach Voter Fraud Commission

South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs had her Kansas counterpart Kris Kobach come endorse and raise money for her in December in an attempt to establish herself as the Trumpist choice in South Dakota’s U.S. House race.

Tagging Kris Kobach as her super-duper Trump pal just took a ding, as Donald Trump dissolved the voter-suppression committee that he charged Kobach with leading alongside Vice-President Mike Pence:

Trump pulls the trigger on Kobach
Trump pulls the trigger on Kobach

President Donald Trump on Wednesday shut down a presidential commission charged with looking into allegations of electoral fraud during the 2016 election, after many states refused to provide it with data, the White House said.

“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action,” Trump said in a statement.

…A federal judge in Washington, D.C., noted in July that the commission was an advisory body that lacked legal authority to compel states to hand over data.

…Most state officials who oversee elections and election law experts say that voter fraud is rare in the United States [Eric Walsh, “Trump Dissolves Election Fraud After States Balk at Data Requests,” Reuters via KELO Radio, 2018.01.03].

Krebs kinda-sorta joined the many state officials resisting the Trump/Kobach commission’s demands last summer, saying at first she wouldn’t hand over the overreaching data request, then saying Kobach and Trump could pay for a copy of the voter registration file just like anyone else.

Trump says he’s dissolving the commission to save taxpayers money (which wouldn’t have been at risk if he hadn’t empaneled the Kobach commission in the first place). It seems more likely that Trump just needed to get rid of the commission before it could comply with a judge’s order to release potentially embarrassing documents to Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a member of the Trump/Kobach commission who had to sue to get access to the information:

On Friday, a federal judge ruled the panel must give Dunlap access to relevant documents in order to allow him to fully participate in the commission’s work.

…Last month, Dunlap filed the lawsuit against the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, alleging he was being denied access to the commission’s records and effectively frozen out of its activities. He wanted access to, among other things, communications about how to select experts who would testify before the committee and the scheduling of meetings. At the core of his lawsuit, Dunlap argued that the voter fraud commission had run afoul of the 1972 Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires transparency and balanced membership for government advisory groups [Kurtis Lee, “A Democrat on Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Asked for More Transparency. Here’s What Happened Next,” Los Angeles Times via, 2017.12.24].

Challenged in court and in the states, the Trump/Kobach commission appears to have been flailing about with little clear mission… epitomizing, really, the entire Donald Trump approach to governing.

Shantel Krebs might thus want to wave someone else’s banner over her campaign.


  1. Darin Larson 2018-01-04 08:28

    Cory writes: “Challenged in court and in the states, the Trump/Kobach commission appears to have been flailing about with little clear mission… epitomizing, really, the entire Donald Trump approach to governing.”

    I think their mission was clear: Give voice to Trump’s baseless claim that millions of fraudulent votes were cast. They were flailing about because there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Trump likes to throw out false allegations like a mad monkey flinging feces and then have his administration go through the motions of defending the allegations. Thankfully we have some laws on the books from the Nixon era that stood in the way of Trump’s plans to make this a kangaroo court.

  2. Dana P 2018-01-04 08:53

    Still waiting on “all that evidence” that Mr Trump said he had about 3 million illegal votes. He said, many months ago that he would release that evidence “the next day”. Still waiting. But then again, I’m still waiting for “all that evidence” he has about Obama’s fake birth certificate. Still waiting.

    Angering and sad to think that people continue to believe all of his b.s. That he has direct knowledge that 3 million people voted illegally? AND he knows how they voted? People believe this? Cue OS in 3, 2, 1…….

    But yes, where will Ms Krebs hitch her wagon? I would like someone, anyone, in SD media to ask Ms Krebs if she believes Mr Trump’s baseless allegation about the 3 million illegal votes.

  3. W R Old Guy 2018-01-04 11:16

    Kobach has a very poor track record on voter fraud. He got the Kansas legislature to pass a law allowing him to prosecute voter fraud because it was rampant in Kansas and the county DAs would not take action.

    He has filed 9 cases as of January 2017, misdemeanors, and mostly older Republicans. He knows fraud is out there but he just can’t seem to prove it.

    This link is from Kansas public radio.

  4. jerry 2018-01-04 12:13

    This was not disbanded, it was moved to DHS. This will further make us that police state that roypublicans have erotic dreams of.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2018-01-04 12:55

    Congratulations on being the top commenter on Dakota Free Press this year.
    Did the entire committee move DHS or just the issue of voter fraud?
    The Dept. of Homeland Security seems to be an odd venue for voter fraud.

  6. jerry 2018-01-04 14:56

    Thanks Roger. It is an honor to be allowed to comment. Regarding the voter fraud, it appears the whole rotten box of apples will move. Keep in mind that the census will be preparing to come out and one of the questions will be relating to citizenship so that works tandem with voter questions. Now if the roypubicans would fix the voting system as a whole, this would not be a problem. As you know, they will not because then the vote would be honest. Can’t have that.

  7. jerry 2018-01-04 15:04

    Roger, here is how that whole bag of poop will work.

    “The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent.

    The DOJ made the request in a previously unreported letter, dated Dec. 12 and obtained by ProPublica, from DOJ official Arthur Gary to the top official at the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Department. The letter argues that the DOJ needs better citizenship data to better enforce the Voting Rights Act “and its important protections against racial discrimination in voting.”” TPM

    Roypublicans are simply not interested in democracy. They are interested only in fascism. History is the guide.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-04 15:52

    The committee is dissolved, but the vote-suppression effort now moves to Homeland Security. There’s a reason we put Secretaries of State, not the police, in charge of elections. We must not allow Donald Trump to put his security agents in charge of our elections.

    But the commission shows Trump’s utter incompetence. He spews lies, then throws a bunch of people into a room and tells them to prove his lies. He had no plan for this commission; it just sounded good. That’s what Donald Trump has reduced the Presidency to… and that’s what Shantel Krebs is trying to align herself with.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2018-01-04 16:13

    Truth to tell, Trump formed this commission for one simple reason, he could not accept the fact that a woman, particularly Hillary, won the popular vote.
    Like Cory, I strenuously object to this work being shifted to the cops.

  10. W R Old Guy 2018-01-05 12:35

    Kobach has just filed two more cases of voter fraud in Kansas bringing the total since 2015 to 15. Both are charged with voting in Kansas and Colorado. The Kansas Secretary of State’s office lists 1,847.927 registered voters for the 2016 election.

    I need someone with better math skills that I to figure the percentage of fraudulent votes vs the number of registered voters.

  11. mike from iowa 2018-01-05 13:09

    The conviction of Bebek was the eighth for Kobach since he gained the authority to prosecute voter fraud in 2015, his office said.

    As of this March, 1,788,673 people were registered to vote in Kansas.

    Kobach said the others were convictions of people who “double-voted” or were citizens who voted in Kansas and another state.

    Read more here:

    Finally got one immigrant who was not legal to vote, or so Kobach says.

    Now someone needs to figure out how many legal voters were denied their right to vote by bogus potus and henchmen.

  12. mike from iowa 2018-01-12 13:03

    Courtesy of Think Progress:

    In a court filing on Tuesday, the White House announced that it had not uncovered any preliminary findings of voter fraud in the 2016 election and that it would be destroying confidential voter data initially collected for President Trump’s controversial voter fraud commission, which was disbanded on January 3.

    Another fraud brought to you by the party that loves to spend other people’s monies for their own gain.

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