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Dunlap Seeks Injunction To Force Election Fraud Commission To Release Documents

Darron Cummings
Associated Press
Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap speaks during a voter registration meeting at the National Association of Secretaries of State conference Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Indianapolis.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is increasing the pressure on President Trump's election fraud commission to release documents he says have been withheld from him.

Dunlap, who is a member of the president's commission, announced Thursday that he has asked a federal court for an injunction in his request that is designed to force the commission to share records and meeting materials.

If granted, the injunction would shorten the timeframe for the commission to respond to his complaint from two months to one week.

Dunlap has asserted that the commission has been withholding documents and meeting materials from him and the other Democrats appointed to the commission. 

"I had hoped filing the complaint would convey to the commission that I'm serious about fully participating in the work awaiting us," Dunlap said in a statement. "Unfortunately, that intention has not been met, and instead I see media reports filled with attacks and recriminations directed at me for asking for our working papers and work schedule. I'm left with the regrettable choice to push the matter further in the courts."

Dunlap sued the commission on Nov. 9. Since then Republican members of the commission, including vice chairman Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas, have blasted Dunlap in the media.

Dunlap, who was critical of the commission during its last public meeting in New Hampshire, says he's no longer aware of the commission's meeting schedule. He said a Minnesota advocacy group recently indicated that commission was set to meet in December, but he has received no word of that meeting.

This story originally indicated that the injunction Dunlap seeks also sought to prevent the commission from removing him. Dunlap's office issued this correction:

"In a November 16, 2017 letter, Defendants’ counsel promised that the Commission would not retaliate against or terminate Secretary Dunlap as a Commission member for asserting his rights. In light of these representations, Secretary Dunlap did not seek an injunction against retaliation or termination."

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.