Trump’s Voter Fraud Investigator Found In Contempt Of Court.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was the co-Chairman of Trump’s now defunct voter fraud commission. When nobody would cooperate with Trump’s Kangaroo Court, Trump was forced to disband it.
Trump picked Kobach because he wanted Kobach’s commission to ratify Trump’s bogus (and frankly impossible) claim that the only explanation for Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote (by nearly 3 million) was millions of illegal votes. Kobach had already publicly affirmed Trump’s ridiculous claim.
Kobach had also established a reputation for zealously enforcing voter fraud in Kansas. His campaign to do so found nine cases, spanning more than one election, most of which involved Republicans committing the fraud.
Kobach’s program produced numerous false positives. In many cases Kobach acted on the false positives by removing voters from the registration roles. Said false positives then, understandably, sued to secure their right to vote.
As I discussed in a prior article, early in that lawsuit the court imposed sanctions against Kobach for lying to the court about a discovery issue. The sanctions even came with a warning regarding Kobach’s damaged credibility suggesting he work to restore that credibility in the future. The court said:
“when any lawyer takes an unsupportable position in a simple matter such as this, it hurts his or her credibility when the court considers arguments on much more complex and nuanced matters.”
Ouch. You would have thought those sanctions would serve as a clear warning to Kobach and that he would work hard to be a model of credibility afterwards. Nope. So we get to Round 2.
The case proceeded. The court granted a preliminary injunction to Plaintiffs enjoining Kobach from continuing with the process that produced so many false positives. The order also required Kobach to notify those removed from voter roles that they were reinstated. In open court Kobach himself stated he understood the court’s order and that he understood it to mean he was required to mail standard postcards to affected voters informing them they are registered.
He didn’t mail those postcards. When Plaintiffs reminded him of the obligation per the court order, Kobach said the court did not require that. When the Plaintiffs complained to the court, Kobach again said, in writing, that he did not have to send the postcards even though he had previously declared personally to the judge that he understood the order required exactly that.
The frustrated judge issued an order for Kobach to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court. Kobach yet again said he did not have to do what he previously acknowledged he had to do, but said he was finally going to do it anyway.
Fed up, the judge held Kobach, the Secretary of State for Kansas, in civil contempt of court. While the judge did not directly say Kobach acted in bad faith, the order did say the Kobach “willfully failed” to obey the court’s order and repeatedly described Kobach’s position as “disingenuous.” The judge cited Kobach’s “history of noncompliance and disrespect for the Court’s decisions in this case.” The court found testimony by Kobach’s employee to not be credible, and explained why in great detail, referring to the “inconsistent and evasive testimony” of the employee. As for Kobach’s finally implementing the court’s orders half a year late, the judge ruled “too little, to late.”
In some of her strongest language the judge slammed Kobach for his “failure to take responsibility for violating this Court’s orders,” as Kobach tried to blame it on underlings. The judge would have none of that, declaring:
[Kobach] apparently took no steps to personally ensure compliance with this directive, despite his status as chief election official for the State of Kansas. Instead, [Kobach] deflected blame for his failure to comply onto county officials, and onto his own staff, some of whom are not licensed attorneys. The letters from Plaintiffs seeking compliance with these issues were directed to [Kobach]. The motion for contempt was directed to [Kobach]. It was [Kobach’s] duty to ensure that the counties complied with the Court’s Orders, a duty this Court made crystal clear to him back on October 5, 2016. As such, [Kobach] and not his staff, should bear the burden of sanctions for the lengthy delay in compliance.
The judge ordered Kobach to pay Plaintiffs’ legal costs related to the motions seeking enforcement of court’s orders to include the legal fees for briefs and hearings associated with contempt finding. The judge left open the possibility of further remedial action, and even coercive sanctions after a final ruling on the merits of the case.
Republicans claim their interest in enforcing voter fraud is an exercise in respect for the rule of law. In reality, as seen here, that reason is a sham and they are willing to treat the law with contempt in their zeal to suppress voter turnout.
For those who think such things important, the judge was appointed in 2001 by President Bush.