President Donald Trump has dissolved the presidential commission created to investigate his unproven claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.
The commission, which was created through an executive order of May of last year, was unceremoniously ended Wednesday by another executive order.
The White House announced the dissolution in a press release, citing many states’ refusal to turn over information needed for the inquiry as the impetus for disbanding the commission.
“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission,” read a statement that appeared to be from the president but was attributed to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
More than 32 states had previously refused to comply with the Trump administration’s request for voter registration data as part of the commission’s investigation, with some states being barred by local law to release such information about the voter rolls.
In the wake of his 2016 election victory, Trump alleged that the reason Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of some 3 million votes was because of widespread voter fraud.
“No matter what numbers we come up with there are going to be lots of people that did things that we’re not going to find out about,” Trump told ABC News’ David Muir back in January 2017. “But we will find out because we need a better system where that can’t happen.”
Though neither the White House nor the now-disbanded presidential commission ever produced any evidence to substantiate the president’s claims of widespread voter fraud, Sanders maintained on Wednesday evening that “substantial evidence” exists.
While the commission dissolved, the White House said the president has advised the Department of Homeland Security to continue to review the issue of voter fraud and determine future courses of action.