The Maine Democrat serving on President Trump’s voter fraud commission has reiterated his criticism of its direction and said communications to him from its staff have essentially ceased since the body last met Sept. 12.

“I have heard nothing from staff or anyone else on the commission really since we adjourned our meeting in New Hampshire almost a month ago,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap told MSNBC’s Ari Melber in a live broadcast Thursday.

Dunlap also said he had no idea when the body – which Trump created to investigate his evidence-free assertions that he lost the popular vote because of widespread voter fraud – would next meet. “I don’t know,” he said. “I have heard nothing.”

Dunlap, who has been criticized by fellow Democrats for participating in the voter fraud commission, emerged as one of the panel’s most vocal critics during its meeting last month at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. He said Commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach’s suggestion that thousands of people had acted illegally when they registered to vote in New Hampshire using out-of-state licenses was a “reckless statement to make” and factually untrue.

“Making this equation that somehow people not updating their driver’s license is an indicator of voter fraud would be almost as absurd as saying, ‘If you have cash in your wallet, you’ve robbed a bank,'” Dunlap told his fellow panelists.

Under New Hampshire law, one can registered to vote at their place of domicile – a college dormitory, for instance — without obtaining a state driver’s license.


Kobach has sent two controversial requests to election administrators in all 50 states asking them to turn over detailed voter registration information to the commission. Neither of the requests – which were rejected by many blue and red states alike – was made with the prior approval of or consultation with the commissioners, raising questions about what if any powers they actually have.

In its first meeting, the commission’s chairman, Vice President Mike Pence, made clear that it will focus almost entirely on voter fraud, a problem that numerous studies and probes by administrations of both parties have shown is vanishingly rare, and will not address the systematic intrusion of state election infrastructure by Russia, a problem about which Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent, has been especially vocal.

The body has also been accused of violating federal public records laws by conducting official business via personal e-mail accounts.

Dunlap has said he has joined the commission with an open mind and will act as a whistleblower if it engages in partisan shenanigans, but he has become much more critical of the body’s approach over the past month, saying many of his colleagues appear to define “voter fraud” to include legitimate voting by people they don’t want to see vote, such as college students.

But in the MSNBC interview Thursday, Dunlap demurred when Melber asked him whether he had confidence that he was participating in a “fair and legitimate” process.

“I think it’s a little bit early to pass a final judgment on the work of the commission,” he said via a live connection from Bangor. “We still have an opportunity to answer the questions, the questions raised by the president, that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally.”

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