It appears there is no part of the Donald Trump White House that doesn’t reek of corruption, as the president’s phony “election integrity commission” is in hot water after Kansas Secretary of State and vice chair of the group, Kris Kobach, allegedly used the commission to promote his gubernatorial candidacy.
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, announced that her organization officially filed a complaint on Monday.
BREAKING: We filed complaint today alleging Kris Kobach violated Hatch Act by using work w/ sham Pence-Kobach Comm. to promote his candidacy
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) July 3, 2017
As CNN pointed out on Monday, Clarke’s group is calling on the Department of Justice “to investigate whether Kobach violated the Hatch Act, a 1939 law intended to keep federal employees from directly supporting candidates, accusing him of using his role on the presidential commission to promote his campaign and solicit contributions.”
More from CNN:
In its complaint, the legal group outlined several occasions in which it accused Kobach of improperly promoting his role on the commission to bolster his gubernatorial candidacy through social media accounts attributed to his campaign and through his campaign website, in addition to remarks he has made that the group says blurred the line between federal government worker and political candidate.
In response to a query from CNN, Kobach’s Kansas office blasted the legal group.
“We are certain that no Hatch Act violations have occurred,” said his spokeswoman, Samantha Poetter. “This is nothing but a bunch of liberal lawyers trying to create a story.”
The Hatch Act restricts federal employees from using their official positions to engage in electoral efforts. The legal group said Kobach’s role on the commission makes him subject to the law and therefore necessitates an investigation from the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel, which handles Hatch Act matters.
The group also called on the Office of Government Ethics and the White House Counsel’s Office to look into any ethical breaches from Kobach.
Things are going so badly for the commission that it was reported on Monday that Maryland Deputy Secretary of State Luis Borunda is resigning from the president’s panel.
The controversy comes as the commission was already under criticism this week for requesting voter information from every state, which would put private voter information at risk. Most states have refused to give this information to the president’s panel.
As states denied to hand over the private data, the child-in-chief unhappily stomped to his Twitter account to throw a tantrum about it.
Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
This commission was already a sham, to begin with, as Trump’s repeated claim that voter fraud cost him the popular vote is and always has been laughably false. Using taxpayer money to fund a panel based on that insane conspiracy theory has never been a good use of resources.
But now that the commission is being used to promote the political campaign of the man running it, it’s pretty clear that it has no credibility.
It should be shut down.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.