Trump Plans “Major Investigation” of Nonexistent Voter Fraud
Trump Plans "Major Investigation" of Nonexistent Voter Fraud
President Trump isn’t letting go on his wildly inaccurate claims about voter fraud, despite the lack of evidence supporting them and pleas from his fellow Republicans to turn his attention to real problems.
The President Tweeted this morning that he will soon seek “a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD,” (caps his), including people registered in two states, “those who are illegal” and “those registered who are dead.”
The President’s announcement included no information about who might lead or participate in the investigation; a Justice Department spokesman contacted by the Washington Post declined to comment on whether the department will participate.
Common Cause and other voting rights watchdogs said the investigation shapes up as a waste of time and money. “The facts are clear; the research has been done,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. “Election officials, leaders of the President’s own party, and other leading election experts confirm that there is no evidence of election tampering as President Trump alone claims. There simply is no alternate fact.”
Trump has repeatedly claimed that up to 5 million people illegally cast ballots last fall and that without them he would have gained a majority of the popular vote. He raised the subject again during a private meeting on Monday with members of Congress and his obsession with it has been a major distraction during his first week in office.
Investigations stretching over a period of years and led by Republicans, Democrats and independent groups alike have concluded that voter fraud is not a significant problem in U.S. elections. And the registration problems the President cited in his Tweets are not voter fraud at all; fraud occurs when someone who is not a legal voter casts a ballot or attempts to do so.
There are disturbing signs this morning that the Trump administration intends to shape the flow of information from federal agencies in ways that reflect the President’s worldview, regardless of whether his view reflects the facts.
NPR reports that scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency who wish to publish the results of their studies will first have to have the findings cleared by the new administration.
“We’ll take a look at what’s happening so that the voice coming from the EPA is one that’s going to reflect the new administration,” Doug Ericksen, a spokesman for Trump’s EPA transition team, told the network.
The NPR story follows reports that the White House has put the EPA and the Department of Agriculture under a media blackout. And this morning, Politico is reporting that the White House is placing Trump loyalists high in the bureaucracy of every major federal agency as a “shadow Cabinet” to ensure that agency policies reflect the President’s priorities.