Breitbart's payments to Trump's voter suppression crusader Kris Kobach may have broken federal conflict of interest laws, according to a new complaint from a government watchdog group.
Kris Kobach, the head of the commission put together by Donald Trump to push voting restrictions, has been accused of breaking federal law, according to a complaint filed by a government watchdog group.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has alleged that Kobach, who is also the Kansas secretary of state, is in violation of federal conflict of interest law. They are requesting an investigation into his activities by the Department of Justice.
While working as vice chair of the so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Kobach was also writing a paid column for Breitbart News, the white supremacist site run by former Trump White House aide and campaign chairman Steve Bannon.
“Five days after its publication, Kobach incorporated the column into a New Hampshire meeting of the Commission,” the complaint notes.
In a statement, CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said, “The law is clear that government officials cannot participate in matters in which they have a financial interest.”
The allegation is the latest black eye for Kobach and the commission.
Kobach is a long-time, vocal member of the right’s crusade against voting rights. He created the Interstate Crosscheck System, which has been used to purge over 7 million people from voting rolls. Almost all of those people purged were low-income people of color who were inclined to vote Democratic.
Like Trump, Kobach has often pushed conspiracy theories about voter fraud, which is statistically nonexistent within the United States.
There were already at least seven federal lawsuits pending against the commission headed by Kobach and co-chaired by Mike Pence.
The ACLU, NAACP, and other groups in those lawsuits point out that the composition of the commission is designed to discriminate against minority voters and suppress turnout by those voters — who usually vote for the Democratic Party.
Kobach tried to use the commission to get every state to hand him their voter rolls, including private information like Social Security numbers and home addresses. Nearly every secretary of state refused to comply with his outrageous demands.
The Republican Party has been implicated in multiple schemes attempting to rig the voting system in its favor, and Trump, Pence, and Kobach are trying to do the same at the federal level.
But Kobach, in his zeal to push his extremist agenda, may now have broken the law in the process.