White House Delays Announcement of Voter Fraud Probe

White House Delays Announcement of Voter Fraud Probe

As reports surfaced of multiple registrations by members of the President's inner circle, the administration put off an announcement concerning plans to investigate voter fraud

Still No Evidence That There's Anything Worth Investigating

After President Trump told a national television audience on Wednesday that he would be launching a “major investigation” of voter fraud in last year’s election, the White House passed word that an executive order on the subject would be signed on Thursday.

But Thursday came and went with no action and still no evidence that significant voter fraud exists anywhere in America other than in the President’s imagination. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the administration may have more to say on the investigation today or Saturday.

The administration’s delay came amid reports that Stephen Bannon, the President’s chief strategist, Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary, and Tiffany Trump, the President’s daughter, are all registered to vote in two states.

The President has repeatedly cited such dual registrations as evidence to support his claim that up to 5 million people voted illegally last year. In fact, there’s nothing fraudulent about dual registration. Voter fraud occurs when someone attempts to vote in multiple locations or in a locality where he or she doesn’t reside; numerous investigations by Republicans, Democrats and independent researchers have concluded that is about as rare as unicorn sightings in the U.S.


A popular uprising against attempts by South Dakota legislators to dismantle a sweeping, voter-approved overhaul of the state’s ethics laws appears to be making headway.

The state Senate on Thursday postponed action till next week on a bill that would overturn last November’s popular vote in favor of the ethics reforms, which include an ethics commission, a public funding system for political campaigns, and strict limits on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers.

The South Dakota House already has passed the bill and Gov. Dennis Daugaard has promised to sign it if it reaches his desk. The legislation appeared to be on a fast track until news stories spotlighting it began appearing in South Dakota and across the country, sparking a flurry of angry phone calls, emails and other messages to members of the legislature.


A Senate confirmation hearing for Andrew Puzder, President Trump’s choice to serve as Secretary of Labor, has been postponed – for the third time – amid Puzder’s continuing failure to submit paperwork required of all Cabinet nominees.

The hearing is now set for Feb. 7 in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Puzder, a fast food executive, is one of several Trump cabinet selections whose confirmations have run into trouble because of gaps in their paperwork or concerns about their plans to comply with federal conflict of interest laws.

The Washington Post reports that Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin initially omitted about $100 million in assets from his financial disclosure forms. Education secretary pick Betsy DeVos did not submit her ethics agreement until after her confirmation hearing, leading lawmakers to delay her confirmation vote. 


The new administration’s already contentious relationship with the White House press corps is getting darker today after Bannon told the New York Times “the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”

Bannon also referred to reporters as “the opposition party” and asserted that “they don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

Every President has spats with individual reporters, columnists, and commentators and sometimes with the media in general. But Trump’s open verbal combat with journalists during his first week in office is raising concerns that he is intent on controlling the flow of information and punishing and/or silencing journalists who write critical stories about him or his administration.

Trump has called for overhauling U.S. libel laws to bring them more in line with press restrictions in Great Britain and has referred to reporters as “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.” His first days in the White House have been marked by reports that the administration has tried to squelch publication and distribution of government-financed scientific research that doesn’t comport with the President’s views on subjects like climate change; Trump is a climate change skeptic.

“We are not the opposition,’’ Stephen Engelberg, editor in chief of the nonprofit news website ProPublica, wrote in an email to the Times. “We are part of an essential function in any democracy.” ProPublica has no intention of “shutting up in response to this or any other president’s demand,” he added.

“We are here to tell the truth and we intend to continue doing so, regardless of how badly some might want us to parrot ‘alternative facts.’”