May 26, 2018
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Dunlap intensifies legal fight with Trump over voter fraud panel records

Darron Cummings | AP
Darron Cummings | AP
In this July 8, 2017 file photo, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap speaks during a voter registration meeting at the National Association of Secretaries of State conference in Indianapolis. On Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, Dunlap said he planned to continue his legal fight for documents from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on which he served.
By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has escalated his legal challenges to a presidential voter fraud commission he was a member of until it dissolved last week.

Dunlap, a Democrat chosen by President Donald Trump to serve on the commission, announced Tuesday that he has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity from transferring its findings to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A federal judge responded to a Freedom of Information Act suit by Dunlap by ordering the commission to give Dunlap and other members copies of its working papers. Dunlap said over the weekend that the Department of Justice refused the order because the commission has been disbanded.

Dunlap seeks to block the commission from providing findings to the Department of Homeland Security, which Dunlap said the Trump administration intends to continue the voter fraud probe.

Dunlap said in a written statement Tuesday that the public’s access to the documents is “more critical than ever, now that the commission is dissolved.” Dunlap’s restraining order was filed on his behalf by an organization called American Oversight, whose stated mission is “holding [Trump’s] administration accountable.”

Dunlap and his attorneys argue that meeting materials, witness invitations and correspondence between commissioners, as well as other documents, are still part of the public record even though the commission no longer exists.

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