- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2017

Opponents of President Trump’s voter integrity commission asked a federal judge Thursday for permission to depose Vice Chairman Kris Kobach as they seek to force the panel to be more transparent about what it’s doing.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of a number of groups that have sued to derail the commission, filed a number of demands with the court in Washington, D.C., trying to pry information loose from the panel.

That includes a look at all the materials the commission is collecting or using at meetings, and what the panel plans to do with the information.

And in particular, the lawyers said they want to put Mr. Kobach under oath, saying he can shed light on everything that’s gone on at the controversial commission.

“Vice Chair Kobach, as the operational leader of the Commission, has unique knowledge regarding whether he or other commissioners have communicated or kept documents regarding the Commission outside of official federal government systems, the existence of certain types of records (such as any documents relating to the Commission that have not been shared with the full Commission), and whether the Commission’s anticipated activities extend beyond providing advice to the President,” the lawyers said.

Neither Mr. Kobach nor the vice president’s office, which is providing staff for the panel, responded to messages seeking comment.

The panel’s official reply to the court is due Monday.

Mr. Kobach, secretary of state in Kansas, has become a major figure in the panel’s activities.

Mr. Trump formed the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and charged it with looking into voter fraud, on the one hand, and barriers that keep people from voting, on the other.

Opponents, including top Democrats, minority-rights groups and liberal legal organizations, fear the panel will pave the way for stricter rules about registering and voting.

On Thursday Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called for the panel to be disbanded in the wake of this month’s violent clashes in Charlottesville, saying the panel’s goals are the same as the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched in the Virginia city.

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