“This January 6 is a reminder of why we began this work in the first place.”
It was clear from the time Donald Trump took office that his presidency would present unique threats to people, communities, and to American democracy itself. This was perhaps most evident a year ago today when violent rioters executed a siege on our nation’s Capitol in an attempt to subvert the right of the people to choose their president.
In 2016, Donald Trump lost the popular vote. So, in his first days in office, he established a Commission to collect and store personal and politically sensitive information regarding individual American voters. The Commission, which was led by Mike Pence and Kris Kobach, sought to undermine Americans’ confidence in free and fair elections. Using outlets like Breitbart as a platform, Trump officials made unsubstantiated claims about specific instances of alleged voter fraud in the 2016 election. In 2017, on behalf of voters in several states, we sued to halt this unprecedented and unlawful investigation into individual American voters. This Commission was ultimately disbanded.
The Commission was just the tip of the iceberg for the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine American democracy through the manipulation and corruption of public information. Today, as the nation reflects on the anniversary of January 6, 2021, we are releasing records obtained from our ongoing public records investigation into the culture of misinformation within the federal government during the Trump administration, including the administration’s relationship with right-wing media outlets.
While the role of right-wing media as a platform for those seeking to discredit the integrity of elections and promote the Big Lie has been well documented, less appreciated is the way Trump administration officials embedded both in the White House and throughout federal executive agencies shaped and corrupted public information on a range of issues including from immigration, economic policy, environmental policy, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the Records Release here.
Democracy depends on a government that works for all people and one that is accountable for present and future generations. Only through learning from what transpired can we successfully prevent it from ever happening again.
For our team, January 6 is a reminder of why we began this work in the first place—and the importance of continuing to fight for people and democracy every day. We will continue to do our part to ensure that democracy is not nearing its last days.