Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said a “barrage of meritless lawsuits” ended President Trump's voter fraud commission.
“I’m not sure what the total is up to,” said Kobach, who led the commission with Vice President Mike Pence, in the Kansas City Star. “All trying to stop the commission in its tracks.”
The White House said in a statement Wednesday evening, "Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action."
Kobach, whom Trump once considered for his DHS secretary and is currently running for Kansas governor, said he would continue to communicate with the department and the White House on the issue of voter fraud. He said Trump decided to dissolve the commission Wednesday after weeks of discussion.
DHS acting press secretary Tyler Houlton said in an email to the Washington Examiner: “The Department continues to focus our efforts on securing elections against those who seek to undermine the election system or its integrity. We will do this in support of State governments who are responsible for administering elections.”
Numerous states said they wouldn't comply with the commission's request for identifying voter registration information. The White House blamed states' refusals to hand over information in part ended the commission. Voting rights advocates also expressed concern.
Kobach said DHS was chosen to continue the work because it oversees immigration, adding this will allow the department to come up with an accurate number of noncitizens registered to vote.
“This is a tactical shift by the president who remains very committed to finding the scope of voter fraud,” said Kobach, a staunch proponent of voter ID laws. "In a perfect world, the commission would’ve moved swiftly and there wouldn’t be any lawsuits."
The commission had been beset by numerous legal challenges since it was formed in May. It met twice.
Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity after claiming "millions" of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election, though experts say there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud presented. Republican strategists have spoken out against the effort and two members of the commission also criticized the commission for lack of transparency.
The commission failed to prove Trump's claim of widespread voter fraud, which the president cited as the reason for forming the commission in the first place.