He said Trump was "absolutely correct when he said the number of illegal votes cast exceeds the popular vote margin between him and Hillary Clinton". There is no eveidence to back that claim. And the ex-head of the F.B.I., who was sacked on spurious grounds after pressing an investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian interference in last year's election.
Trump signed an executive order forming the bipartisan commission on Thursday.
The secretary of state championed Kansas's proof-of-citizenship requirement as an anti-fraud measure that keeps non-citizens from voting, including immigrants living in the USA illegally.
League of Women Voters President Chris Carson, meanwhile, said, "the real goal of this effort is to justify President Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 elections".
It's unlikely the commission will get much cooperation or support from voting rights activists, who are concerned that the commission's report will be used to justify more state-level restrictions on voting, such as strict identification requirements. And perhaps uncoincidentally, the conspiracy website InfoWars had promoted the same false claim about illegal immigrants. Kobach was unable to prove intent in any of those cases. He, too, offered no actual evidence. Although Trump has provided no evidence to support his claim that almost three million people voted illegally (and only for Hillary Clinton), he has relentlessly pushed his narrative. The executive order instructs the group to look at processes that enhance or undermine the confidence in American elections, and also look for any vulnerabilities that could lead to voter fraud.
But Kobach says voter fraud is enough of a problem to warrant a response.
"They're setting out on a mission with what appears to be a predetermined goal".
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (via Fox News) summed this whole situation up nicely: "Putting an extremist like Mr. Kobach at the helm of this commission is akin to putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department".
The order comes as congressional and Federal Bureau of Investigation probes into Russian meddling in the USA 2016 election are underway.
"This commission is a sham and distraction", Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, a liberal legal group based at the New York University School of Law, said in a public statement.
But as Trump continues with his baseless claims, the overwhelming information that has come out since the election indicates that voter fraud was not widespread.
"The president shall appoint the additional members, who shall include individuals with knowledge and experience in elections, election management, election fraud detection, and voter integrity efforts, and any other individuals with knowledge or experience that the president determines to be of value to the Commission".