Pence-led voter suppression commission caught breaking federal law for use of private emails


Mike Pence, Kris Kobach, and their band of voter fraud conspiracy theorists are breaking federal law on email retention, in yet another exhibit of hypocrisy from the right.

Donald Trump and his merry band of white supremacists continue to work day and night to make life harder for non-white Americans. In the latest chapter of skullduggery, the voter suppression commission, led by Mike Pence and chief voter suppression champion Kris Kobach, is refusing to follow federal law regarding proper use of email, according to a report by ProPublica.

Yes, you read that correctly: After years of pretending that Hillary Clinton's misuse of email was the biggest scandal in the history of the universe, Pence and his cronies are blatantly ignoring federal law regarding email use and retention.

The commission "came under fire earlier this month when a lawsuit and media reports revealed that the commissioners were using private emails to conduct public business," ProPublica notes, adding that Kobach "confirmed this week that most of them continue to do so."


While the commission may be trying to hide communications between members, its overarching purpose is still very clear: to suppress the voting rights of poor people, young people, racial minorities, and other demographic groups more likely to vote for Democrats.

In fact, one of the members of the conspiracy commission wanted to ensure that no Democrats, or even so-called "establishment" Republicans, were on the commission. And the latest meeting consisted only of white men. Shocking, right?

No matter their nefarious aims, the commission is still a federal body, and subject to following federal law. Yet as ProPublica notes, experts from across the political spectrum are raising alarm bells about the commission’s disregard for abiding by statutes (emphasis added):

Richard Painter, who served as the George W. Bush administration’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, expressed shock that the current commission is being allowed to rely on personal email accounts (which are to be forwarded to Kossack at their discretion). "This is just sloppy," he said, adding that waiting more than two months to offer ethics training was just another sign that the Trump administration "doesn’t take ethics training seriously."

"The statute here is clear," added Jason Baron, former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

When President Barack Obama set up federal commissions, he followed the law, ProPublica explains. "The Presidential Commission on Election Administration, formed by the Obama administration in March 2013, provided ethics and records retention training days after commissioners were nominated. Each commissioner was provided with a federal email address that automatically archived all messages."

The good old days, when people with integrity, and who actually cared about laws, occupied the White House.

Also of note: Disgraced former Trump aide Carter Page, another name that has come up during the Russia investigation, emailed some members of the commission using those private email accounts, asking the group to investigate "the Obama administration’s misuse of federal resources of the Intelligence Community in their unjustified attacks on myself and other volunteers" on the Trump campaign.

It is no surprise that this fraudulent commission is filled with men who have the same galling lack of integrity as Trump and Pence. And its unlawful practices and despicable attacks on voting rights must be challenged as strenuously as possible.