Trying to score political points by chasing voter fraud in court, Kris Kobach became a laughing stock this week instead.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who doubled as Trump’s voter suppression czar last year, has been making a fool of himself in a Kansas City courtroom all week.
Kobach has been regularly humiliated by a Republican-appointed judge while he tries to prove his long-held conspiratorial claim that voter fraud is rampant in America and must be stomped out.
In truth, research has time and again confirmed that voter fraud is statistically non-existent in the U.S. Those findings suggest Republicans like Kobach, who are obsessed with the crusade, are more interested in making sure fewer people show up to vote on Election Day.
Specifically, Republicans have used fear-mongering about fraud to push restrictions on minority voters.
Kobach’s in court for a landmark voting rights case against the ACLU that could affect the future of how Americans register to vote. And Kobach, who is also currently running for governor, decided to argue the case himself rather than have the Kansas Attorney General’s office handle the legal duties.
The ego-driven decision has turned into a fiasco, with Kobach constantly being reprimanded by the GOP judge, who has had to basically explain to Kobach how trials work.
At one point the judge actually told Kobach from the bench, “That’s not how trials are conducted” — after he tried to introduce information into the trial without giving the other side a chance to review it.
“Kobach and his legal team made a number of procedural missteps throughout the case and been reprimanded by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, a George W. Bush appointee, who is presiding over the trial,” the Huffington Post reported after Thursday’s session. “Robinson punctuated her rebuke of Kobach’s legal team by saying she wanted her own comments to be preserved in the record for an appeal.”
The bumbling from Kobach and his team has produced outbursts of laughter inside the courtroom, according to a ThinkProgress.
Earlier in the case, Kobach was hit with a $1,000 fine for demonstrating “deceptive conduct and lack of candor” in his interactions with the court.
Kobach has been riding the voter fraud hobbyhorse for years. He was elevated to the national spotlight last year when Trump and Vice President Mike Pence appointed him to be his voter suppression czar and help oversee the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to root out the supposed evil.
In 2017, Kobach also took a job as a paid columnist for the white nationalist site Breitbart.
Less than one year later, after Kobach’s commission was buried in lawsuits from state attorneys general — from blue and red states — who objected to his demands for sensitive voter roll information, the whole charade was shut down.
Undeterred, Kobach’s in court trying to prove elusive voter fraud. Except this time he’s being played for a fool.