ELECTIONS

Kobach blasts 'baffling' calls for resignation from voter fraud commission

A leader of President Trump’s controversial voter fraud commission on Wednesday blasted what he described as “baffling” calls for his resignation, saying Democrats’ charge that the investigation could lead to voter suppression “doesn’t even make sense.”

“How in the world can a commission in Washington, D.C. … studying a problem cause someone in some far-flung state like California not to go to the polls?” Kris Kobach said on “Fox & Friends.”

He spoke as Vice President Pence later Wednesday morning was set to chair the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Kobach, who serves as vice chairman, sparked controversy several weeks ago when he sent letters to state officials seeking extensive voter information – which dozens of states resisted turning over, claiming the request was too broad.

Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas, defended the requests Wednesday and also responded to a new demand by congressional Democrats that Pence seek his resignation.

“I think they want me removed because I’ve been fighting voter fraud in my state of Kansas for over six years now and I’ve been very specific about what we need to do and what other states have been doing,” he said. “I guess they just don’t want someone heading the commission as vice chair who knows this issue and knows how to get at the problem.” 

The call for his ouster was made in a letter to Pence sent by Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich.; Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; and Robert Brady, D-Pa. They also alleged Kobach is using the commission to help himself politically.

“Mr. Kobach has repeatedly claimed, falsely, that widespread voter fraud exists and advertises his work on the Commission to promote his own campaign for governor of Kansas,” they wrote. “These actions undermine the integrity of the Commission and raise significant concerns that the Commission will be used as a tool for voter suppression.”