ACLU sues Trump administration over election fraud investigation

Donald Trump and Kris Kobach.
(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union, which says the commission broke federal law by not having its first meeting open to the public.

Led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the commission has only held one meeting so far, two months ago. It was done over the phone and not public, and since the law "applies to all meetings, even telephonic meetings, the commission has already violated" the Federal Advisory Committee Act, ACLU staff lawyer Theresa Lee told NPR. The commission's next meeting is scheduled for July 19, and will be done over video. That also doesn't count as "open," Lee said, "because it does not provide the opportunity for sufficient public oversight as required by law, and is notably inaccessible to any citizens without a computer and a broadband internet connection."

In June, the commission — formed after Trump made baseless allegations that millions of people managed to vote illegally in the last presidential election — sent letters to every state and the District of Columbia, requesting extensive voter data, including names, party affiliation, and the last four digits of their Social Security number. Most states have flat out refused to hand over the information, either saying they can't because of state law or they won't because it's an invasion of privacy. The deadline for information was supposed to be Friday, but NPR reports Pence's office sent an email to secretaries of state Monday saying they can wait until a judge rules on a different lawsuit stemming from the collection of the data, filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.