Eric Holder: Trump voter fraud commission led by 'fact-challenged zealot'

Former US attorney general Eric Holder on Monday assailed President Donald Trump's voting commission and unsubstantiated claim that voter fraud is widespread, calling the commission "another frightening attempt to suppress the votes of certain Americans."

"The creation of this new federal commission on election integrity by this administration is another frightening attempt to suppress the votes of certain Americans," Holder told attendees of the NAACP National Convention in Baltimore. "Make no mistake, this commission, led by a fact-challenged zealot, will come up with bogus reasons why further restrictions should be placed on the right to vote."

While Holder did not name him directly, the commission is led by Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who is an advocate for tougher voting restrictions. Four Democratic lawmakers last week wrote to Vice President Mike Pence requesting that Kobach be removed from the commission.

Since its creation in May, Trump's commission investigating voter fraud has been met by charges from Democrats and voting rights advocates that it could lead to voter suppression. The commission's request that state election officials turn over data and personal information on the nation's 200 million voters also sparked bipartisan outrage with many states saying they would not comply.

Trump has defended the mission of the commission, however, telling the group at its first meeting Wednesday, "we want to make America great again. We have to protect the integrity of the vote and our voters."

Holder said that the right to vote in the United States is "under siege" and must be protected.

"At a time when we should be expanding opportunities to cast a ballot, there is a movement in America that attempts to make it more difficult, to suppress the vote," Holder said.

He also pushed back at the President's oft-repeated claim that 3 million to 5 million people may have voted illegally in the 2016 election, suggesting that it is more likely that a person would be struck by lightening than that they would impersonate another person at the polls.