Sending Office: Honorable Jamie Raskin
Sent By:
William.Roberts@mail.house.gov

            Dear Colleague:

            Please join me in calling on President Trump to remove the egregious Hans von Spakovsky immediately from the so-called “Advisory Commission on Electoral Integrity.”

            A Freedom of Information Act request last week produced some of Commissioner von Spakovsky’s e-mails establishing beyond any doubt his partisan extremism and rigid ideological agenda in manufacturing claims about “voter fraud” to give cover to
ongoing voter suppression legislation and activities in states across America.  In the emails he wrote the following:

“We’re also hearing that they are going to make this bipartisan and include Democrats.  There isn’t a single Democratic official that will do anything other than obstruct any investigation into voter fraud…”

“If they are picking mainstream Republican officials and/or academics to this commission, it will be an abject failure….”

          We urge Mr. von Spakovsky’s immediate removal and request that the Administration and Department of Justice provide specific answers to questions addressing interactions between Mr. von Spakovsky and the Department.

If you would like to sign this letter or have any questions, please contact Devon Ombres in the office of Rep. Jamie Raskin at Devon.Ombres@mail.house.gov.

Very truly yours,

Jamie Raskin
Member of Congress

 

President Donald J. Trump

1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions

United States Department of Justice

 

President Trump and Attorney General Sessions:

            We write today to express our strong opposition to the continued service of Hans von Spakovsky on your Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.  In the wake of revelations of statements he made of an extremist and ferociously partisan nature,
we call upon you to remove Mr. von Spakovsky–or demand his resignation–from the Commission immediately.

            Of course, your Commission has been embroiled in controversy from the beginning because of its dubious assumptions of widespread voter fraud involving millions of people, its lopsided partisan composition of seven Republicans and five Democrats
(reduced to four Democrats in the wake of a recent resignation), and its tendentious leadership by two Republican politicians who have backed policies that disenfranchise voters (Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach).

            But the disclosure last week of emails authored by Commission Member Hans von Spakovsky (and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act) definitively establish his disqualifying bias and complete unfitness to serve on any public Commission,
much less one affecting the voting rights of the American people.

The emails in question reveal an outrageous and embarrassing partisanship completely at odds with how our government should be working.  He wrote:          

We’re also hearing that they are going to make this bipartisan and include Democrats.  There isn’t a single Democratic official that will do anything other than obstruct any investigation into voter fraud…

Indeed, his ideological extremism caused him to disparage not just Democrats but “mainstream Republican officials” and professional political scientists and other academics:

“If they are picking mainstream Republican officials and/or academics to this commission, it will be an abject failure….”

After disclosure of these egregious statements, Mr. von Spakovsky’s continuing participation on this Commission will only strengthen public perception that the Commission is working hand-in-glove with right-wing partisans to undermine the right to vote,
not protect it.

            Accordingly, we urge you to remove Mr. von Spakovsky from the “Commission on Voting Integrity” or simply to disband the Commission as hopelessly compromised and corrupted. Furthermore, because we find it troubling that Mr. van Spakovsky communicated
on these matters not to the White House but directly to the Department of Justice and Attorney General Sessions, which has jurisdictional authority over voting rights enforcement, we request that the following inquiries be addressed:

  • Did Mr. von Spakovsky or the Heritage Foundation have additional contacts or communications with the Attorney General or the Department of Justice regarding the Commission?
  • For what purpose did Mr. von Spakovsky or the Heritage Foundation contact the Department of Justice regarding his views on the composition of the Commission rather than the White House?
  • What role did the Attorney General or the Department of Justice play in the recommendation of appointment, or the appointment of Mr. von Spakovsky to the Commission?
  • What response did the Department of Justice or the Administration provide to Mr. von Spakovsky or the Heritage Foundation regarding this communication, or any other communication he sent addressing the composition, functioning or work of the Commission?

           

Sincerely,

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Elections, Government, Judiciary

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0