Politics

Federal Election Commission Tells Trump to Put Up or Shut Up on Voter Fraud Claims

Published on August 17, 2019 by Athena Pallas

In a letter sent directly to President Trump, the chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) told Trump either to provide evidence of his repeated claims of voter fraud or stop making those claims. The letter, sent Friday, came one day after Trump made a round of such claims in New Hampshire, claiming that he had only lost the state in the 2016 election because of voter fraud. Trump keeps making these claims, without providing evidence. He has made the claims of widespread voter fraud both about specific states and about the overall results, refusing to accept that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by some three million votes.

Never, however, has Trump provided evidence to be able to support these claims. Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Security in 2017 in an effort to support his claims, but that commission was disbanded in January of 2018 without finding any such evidence of widespread voter fraud. At the time of the disbanding Trump claimed the reason for the disbanding was that some states were being uncooperative in providing information to the commission, i.e. Trump still refused to admit that there was and is no evidence to support his claims. FEC chair Ellen Weintraub said in Friday’s letter to Trump that he should either provide evidence or stop making the claims, writing, according to CNN, “To put in terms a former casino operator should understand, there comes a time when you need to lay your cards on the table or fold.” According to CNN:

The Democratic chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission on Friday challenged President Donald Trump to provide evidence of the voter fraud he insists cost him New Hampshire in 2016 or quit talking about it. In a letter to Trump, Ellen Weintraub said the country’s democracy depends on “the American people’s faith in our elections. Your voter-fraud allegations run the risk of undermining that faith. “Weintraub’s missive came a day after Trump complained to reporters – and to his supporters at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire – that he had narrowly lost the Granite State because of fraudulent voting, a claim for which there is no evidence. …Trump campaign officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Weintraub’s letter. Weintraub said Trump should provide his evidence to the public and the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

While it is good that the FEC advise both those holding candidates and those running for office that they make only claims corroborated by evidence, i.e. remain truthful about the facts, it is unclear what, if any, steps the FEC can take to force Trump to comply. Trump has shown that he does not listen to advice to remain truthful, to stick with the facts, to stop making repeated self-aggrandizing and opponent-vilifying lies. Still, this letter does put the FEC on record, for the sake of history at least, as telling Trump to stop.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.