President Donald Trump’s commission investigating voter fraud must give one of its Democratic members access to more of the panel’s records, a federal judge ruled Friday night. U.S. District Court Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap appeared to have been denied documents needed to be an active player in the deliberations of what is formally known as the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. “Plaintiff has a right, as a commissioner, to ‘fully participate’ in the proceedings of the Commission. In the Court’s view, his assertion that he will be unable to fully participate without the information contained in relevant documents that the Commission has not shared with the public has merit,” wrote Kollar-Kotelly, an appointee of President Bill Clinton.
The judge said she was issuing an injunction to prevent “dysfunction” at the commission, but her effort to keep the panel on track may be too little, too late. The group held its last meeting in September and officials have said it will not meet again this year.
The commission was expected to issue a report early next year. But several members say it has been dormant for a couple of months and there appears to be little chance of a report emerging in the next few months.
In her 24-page opinion, Kollar-Kotelly cited three instances where she said Dunlap was not given adequate access to information needed to participate in the panel’s deliberations. The judge said Dunlap should have been informed about and seen a draft of a controversial request asking states to submit their voter rolls and other sensitive, but publicly-available, information about voters.