In 2016, President Trump encouraged millions of Americans to vote against Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Georgia election, saying in a November speech, “Go out and vote for Roy Moore and Luther Strange — both strong conservatives.” His warning set off a wave of voter fraud allegations, prompting former federal prosecutor Jill Fisch to establish a task force to investigate voter fraud in Georgia, The New York Times reported Thursday.
A 2017 report on the task force found that there was “no indication” of voting irregularities, but the probe did find evidence of multiple cases of fraud in the 2016 election. Now, a recent report by Vox, based on documents provided by a lobbyist named Walter Smith, suggests that President Trump may have committed criminal fraud by attempting to tamp down vote fraud.
First, Vox said, President Trump’s office submitted to the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) fake voter registration applications to sway voters in various states. Then, in an apparent “carefully concealed move,” Trump requested state officials to investigate allegedly rigged voting systems. In an emergency order, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) — which Trump himself had already abolished — approved the investigation. “In my opinion, it is clear that there is an epidemic of voter fraud and this is not being reported on,” Michael Toner, a former FEC chairman, told Vox. Toner said it was uncommon for an independent commission, like the EAC, to order such a probe.
The report claims that then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp — now Georgia’s governor — concealed the investigation from voters.
“This apparent cover-up of a voter fraud investigation by Kemp is particularly suspicious,” the report continued. “Kemp had previously vowed to stop the investigation, and ran on a platform of ‘law and order,’ and that included the conviction of volunteers of massive voter fraud that led to the disenfranchisement of 100,000 voters.”