>> This commission is tasked with the sacred duty of upholding the integrity of the ballot box.>> Under intense scrutiny, President Trump's so-called Election Integrity Commission kicking off Wednesday, to explore an allegation from the President, that so far has no evidence to support it, that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election.
Since winning the White House, Donald Trump has been defensive about his victory. Clouded by allegations from the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump and by the fact that his opponent won the popular vote. In the weeks after election day, Trump began casting doubt on the results.
I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.>> Election integrity matters to every American.>> So now the commission, led by Vice President Mike Pence, is making good on Trump's promise to launch a major investigation into voter fraud. But what was promised to be a bipartisan effort is actually chaired by Republicans.
Including Kansas Secretary of State, Chris Kobach an advocate of tougher laws on immigration. Who has been sued repeatedly for trying to enact strict voter registration rules in his state and that's creating static. Democrats and civil rights groups charge the commission could be a vehicle to actually suppress voting rights leading to new requirements designed to make it harder to vote.
>> This commission will have the ability to find answers to questions that have never been fully answered before.>> President, Wednesday, saying the commission will follow the facts.>> You will approach this important task with a very open mind and with no conclusions already drawn.>> But gathering the data they need has not been easy.
Some states have resisted handing over specifics about voters saying it violates state laws. Even co-chair Kobach wouldn't hand over Kansas data that he himself requested. Trump's suspicious of the states that would not comply.>> One has to wonder what they're worried about. There's something, there always is.>> Several federal lawsuits have already been filed against the voting commission including by the ACLU, the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund, and an electronic privacy watchdog group.