The vice chair of a presidential commission charged with investigating voting fraud swung back at the Democratic leader of the Senate Friday, saying it was “pathetic” that Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer equated the panel with white supremacists and a deadly rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia. “It’s a pathetic, partisan attempt to wrap Charlottesville around every issue he can think of,” said Kris Kobach, the vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. “It’s complete nonsense.” On Thursday, Schumer, a Democrat from New York, posted a piece on Medium.com calling for President Donald Trump to disband the commission. He also said if Trump failed to do so, Congress should consider attaching riders to “must-pass” legislation in September that would prohibit the panel’s operation.
“If the president wants to truly show that he rejects the discrimination agenda of the white supremacist movement, he will rescind the Executive Order that created this commission,” he wrote. He also called on Kobach, a Republican who is running for governor in Kansas, to testify in a series of public hearings on the status of voting rights.
Kobach took issue with Schumer’s claim that the commission’s intent was to “intimidate voters and purge them from the rolls through a national voter database.”
“That’s false,” he said. “The commission has already stated that. We intend to destroy the voter registration files once the commission is done with its work.” Moreover, he said, the commission has no power to purge any voter from the rolls — that’s a matter left up to the states.