US President Donald Trump dissolved his much-touted voter fraud commission, attributing the step to various states’ refusal to participate in the board, which was criticised as a misguided step to solve a practically non-existent problem.
In the wake of the announcement on Wednesday night, advisers outlined hesitation from within the White House for months about the commission.
“It’s a s**t show,” a White House adviser told CNN, adding that the commission went “off the rails”.
Trump established the commission last May after claiming without evidence that massive voter fraud had cost him the popular vote, and he appointed Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to lead the panel.
But after months went by and the commission faced pushback from officials across the country, civil rights advocates and even a member of the commission itself, Trump finally pulled the plug on Wednesday.
The White House said in a statement: “Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry.
“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today (Trump) signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action.”
Another White House official told CNN that the commission was unable to operate as structured under the Federal Advisory Committee Act which mandates a degree of transparency around commission activities and was the subject of litigation against it.
The official also suggested the Department of Homeland Security could take up the issue.