A federal judge on Wednesday tore into President Trump’s voter commission for reneging on a promise to fully disclose public documents before a July 19 meeting, ordering the government to meet new transparency requirements and eliciting an apology from administration lawyers. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of Washington said the Election Integrity Commission released only an agenda and proposed bylaws before its first meeting at the White House complex last month. But once gathered, commissioners had thick binders that included documents the public had not seen, including a specially prepared report and a 381-page “database” purporting to show 1,100 cases of voter fraud, both from the think tank Heritage Foundation. The group also received a typed list of possible topics to address from the panel vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach.
Kollar-Kotelly said the panel’s after-the-fact argument was “incredible” when it said it did not believe documents prepared by individual commissioners for the July meeting had to have been posted in advance.
“You didn’t completely live up to the government’s representations,” Kollar-Kotelly told Justice Department lawyers at Wednesday’s hearing. “I want to know what things are not going to be covered” by the government’s pledges, she said.