(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Reps. Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), wrote to Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Charmain of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, expressing concern about the Commission’s reported violation of federal records retention laws.
Members of the Commission, including Vice Chairman Kris Kobach, have been using their personal email addresses to conduct Commission business. Under the Presidential Records Act, when conducting business related to the Commission, members must either use an official email account, copy an official email account on all communications, or forward a complete copy of all communications to an official account within 20 days of the original creation of the message. It does not appear that the Commission has taken any of these steps to comply with the law.
The Commission may also be subject to the Federal Records Act, which requires federal agencies to preserve and archive emails related to official business conduct. Without government-provided email addresses, there is no guarantee that the members of the Commission will preserve emails related to official business.
The Commission’s lack of transparency is especially troubling given that Vice Chairman Kobach appears to be simultaneously conducting Commission work and writing about it as paid columnist for Breitbart.
Raskin and Conyers are seeking from the Commission a number of documents related to these concerns, and have requested that all Commission members “immediately be given a directive to preserve all emails maintained on personal email accounts that address official Commission business. In addition, all Commission members should immediately be given official email addresses from which all future business be conducted.”
The full text of the letter is available here.
Congressman Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Montgomery, Frederick, and Carroll counties. He is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, a Senior Democratic Whip, and Freshman Representative to the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. He also serves on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Committee on House Administration.