President Trump posted on Twitter on Wednesday that he be asking for an “investigation into VOTER FRAUD.”
Then later in the week the president planned to sign an executive action to officially start the investigation, however he got held up on Thursday and has temporarily postponed the signing.
“According to a pool report, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters late Thursday afternoon that Trump returned “a little late” from the Republican leadership retreat in Philadelphia and “got jammed up on some meetings that needed to occur,” prompting the delay. Earlier in the day, Spicer had said that Trump planned to sign the action around 4:30 p.m,” writes Politco.
He had formerly claimed that 3 to 5 million people had voted illegally in November and his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer (who should just start wearing body armor to his press conferences at this point) was confronted with questions about this just yesterday.
“I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and….even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!” tweeted Trump earlier in the week.
Although, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. has said he has seen no evidence as of yet proving Trump’s claim.
This week. Spicer defended Trump’s comments on voter fraud by saying the president made these statements based on information offered to him.
“It was a comment he made on a longstanding belief,” said Spicer. “… He believes what he believes based on the information he’s been provided.”
The reporters then asked is Trump will be investigating voting practices after being aware of this information and Spicer said the president is “comfortable” with his victory, but that “maybe we will.”
“Trump had claimed millions had voted illegally in the wake of his election victory over Hillary Clinton in November when it became clear that while he had won the all-important Electoral College vote, Clinton had won the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes,” write Fox News. “Trump tweeted at that time that he actually won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” a comment for which he was widely criticized.”
The topic was brought up again in Wednesday’s afternoon briefing.
“I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” said Spicer in the Wednesday press briefing.
“I think in terms of registration, where you have got folks on rolls that have been deceased or moved or registered in two counties — this isn’t just about the 2016 election. This is about the integrity of our voting system,” said Spicer. “I think we have to understand where the problem exists, how deep it goes and then suggest some remedies to it.”
Instead of referring to as an investigation, Spicer used the term “study” or “task force” to look into voter fraud.
Spicer cited a 2014 study, where it was discovered that more than 14% of non-citizens in 2008 and 2010 “indicated that they were registered to vote.” However, he referred to the study as a 2008 Pew Research Study, but he most likely meant the heavily disputed 2014 Washington Post “Monkey Cage” study.
Then political scientist Jesse Richman Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia who is working with researcher on a study on noncitizen voting, posted a blog in response to Trump’s voter fraud comments.
“Based on national polling by a consortium of universities, a report by Mr. Richman said 6.4 percent of the estimated 20 million adult noncitizens in the U.S. voted in November. He extrapolated that that percentage would have added 834,381 net votes for Mrs. Clinton, who received about 2.8 million more votes than Mr. Trump,” writes The Washington Times.
Richman also did point out that the noncitizen votes are just a relatively small amount of Clinton’s margin.
Nonetheless, Trump’s administration is taking the issue seriously. Other administrations have investigated this matter previously, proving it’s a legitimate issue.
“This won’t be the first time the federal government has investigated reported instances of voter fraud. Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Justice conducted a five-year probe into what critics at the time called an attempt at suppressing votes from Democrats.
According to the New York Times, the investigation turned up “no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections.” When people were arrested for voter fraud, it was largely due to clerical errors in registration or confusions about eligibility,” writes The Huffington Post.
Author’s note: We are not sure where Trump is getting these high numbers, but there is no doubt that some fraud did occur. Not to mention, Trump may be privy to some documents we are not. By signing this executive action, he is proving that he is going to follow-through with his promises.