President Trump’s voter fraud commission was sued Thursday by one of its Democratic members.
Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) alleged that he has been kept out of the loop on the panel’s operations, making his role on it “essentially meaningless.”
“In fact, the Commission’s superficial bipartisanship has been a facade,” Dunlap said in the suit, according to The Washington Post.
“The Commission has, in effect, not been balanced because Secretary Dunlap and the other Democratic commissioners have been excluded from the Commission’s work,” said the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“The Commission’s operations have not been open and transparent, not even to the commissioners themselves, who have been deprived access to documents prepared by and viewed by other commissioners.”
Dunlap’s complaint maintains that the 11-member panel is in violation of a federal law that requires presidential advisory commissions to be both balanced and transparent in their work.
The panel is officially called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, and it is nominally chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.
The commission has previously met twice – in Washington, D.C. last July and New Hampshire last September – while a third meeting remains unannounced.
Dunlap is among four Democrats serving on the panel following the death of a fifth one last month.
The commission has been targeted in at least eight other lawsuits seeking to halt its operations or make them more transparent.
Trump appointed Dunlap, and the filing he made is the first by one of the commission’s own members.
Dunlap’s suit names several other defendants besides the commission itself, including Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), the panel’s vice chairman.
Trump formed the controversial panel in February after claiming without evidence that between 3 and 5 million people illegally cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.