In an attempt to pretend things are totally fine (hint: they’re not), Trump has revived an old distraction—an investigation into voter fraud in the 2016 election, The Los Angeles Times reports. Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that will create a commission to investigate allegations of voter fraud and suppression. The only problem? There’s no evidence that there was any meaningful voter fraud in the presidential election. And even if there was—what exactly is Trump hoping to achieve with this? He won.
The text of the executive order has not yet been published by the White House, but The Washington Post reports that its signing was corroborated by at least three anonymous White House officials. Trump was previously set to sign this order January 26, according to CNN, but was delayed repeatedly for unknown reasons.
The panel will be headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kris Kobach, a controversial politician behind Arizona’s strict immigration laws, which many say have caused racial profiling of Latinos. The White House claims that the commission, if convened, will be a “bipartisan effort.” According to the Independent, the reason voter suppression was included was to appeal to Democrats, in an attempt to entice them to join the commission.
This is far from the first time Trump has brought up voter fraud in the 2016 election. He previously tweeted that he would have won the “popular vote” if millions illegal votes were made void (there were not millions of illegal votes). In fact, prior to the election, he maintained he might lose due to such fraud, but even then, the issue was debunked by multiple experts—even the ones he cited. After the election, his own lawyers maintained there was no evidence of fraud in the states where Trump won.
Many experts do not consider voter fraud a problem in the U.S.—most alleged cases of voter fraud are due to an antiquated system of voter registration, and their influence is miniscule. However, voter suppression is a legitimate worry, as Republicans have been accused of imposing needless barriers, such as voter ID laws, to deter blacks and other minorities from voting. These laws became more common after the Supreme Court dismantled the mandate requiring all suspicious voter laws to undergo review.
But President Trump, seriously, get over the election! Dude, you won!