GAO to Launch Probe of Trump Voter Fraud Commission

(CN) – The Government Accountability Office has accepted a request from a trio of U.S. senators to investigate the activities of President Donald Trump’s commission on voter fraud.

In a letter to GAO last week, Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota urged the agency to investigate the commission’s motives and the influence of its work.

The creation and operations of the commission “are cause for serious concern,” the senators wrote. “Investigative reports raise questions about the partisan motives and actions of the Commission.”

The manner in which the Commission is conducting its work “will prevent the public from a full and transparent understanding of the Commission’s conclusions and unnecessarily diminish confidence in our democratic process,” they  continued.

The senators said in a statement Thursday that the GAO investigation would get under way year. Chuck Young, a spokesman for the agency, confirmed the GAO will comply with the senators’ request, but said the start of the probe is likely several months away “when staff become available.” Young also said the scope of the investigation has not been determined.

The Trump commission has stirred controversy from the moment it was established last spring. Critics say the president is using it to find support for his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud that cost him the popular vote during the 2016 election.

On Thursday morning, Klobuchar stepped up her criticism of the commission, saying its “lack of transparency” in dealing with members of Congress and others ‘is unacceptable.”

” The commission’s lack of transparency, questionable vetting procedures for staffing, and the serious vulnerability in its voter data system present clear examples of practices that undermine confidence in our election infrastructure,” she said in a letter to the body. “This is evidenced by the fact that voters across the country have elected to un-register to vote because of the commission’s actions.”

“Recent revelations from commission members suggest that our communications may not be reaching them,” the senator continued, “therefore I am now directing all communication to individual members of the commission in addition to the commission’s official correspondence account. It is my sincere hope that by raising these concerns directly with individual members of the commission, the concerns will be swiftly addressed.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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