Mike Johnson, Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Air Force One
Mike Johnson aboard Air Force One with President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and others. Others present: Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham, Jim Risch, and Ralph Abraham in January of 2020. Photo credit: Office of Representative Mike Johnson / Wikimedia (Public Domain)

There may be few things as ironic as Donald Trump advocating for "election integrity." Yet here we are.

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If there were a world record for irony, Donald Trump would have broken it (again) with his latest statement on “election integrity.”

Late Friday, his campaign announced that the former president had met with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to talk about safeguarding US elections. 

In the statement, the campaign of the man who keeps lying about the 2020 election and pretending that he won said: “Truthfulness and transparency are critical for ensuring the public’s confidence in our elections and should be a bipartisan goal we all share.”

There may not be a human being alive who has been less truthful about an election than Trump. In addition, he has single-handedly undermined the confidence of Republicans in voting, evidenced by the fact that a large majority of them believes President Joe Biden’s victory was illegitimate.

Now, Trump is at it again. 

Knowing that Johnson needs his support to remain speaker (in light of opposition from some of the most radical House Republicans), Trump summoned the lawmaker to Mar-a-Lago to discuss the issue. 

The two men agreed that the House would hold a series of televised hearings on the issue over the next couple of months. They are meant to look into “mail-in voting processes and mail-ballot handling procedures.”

Research has shown that the doubts Trump has sown over `mail-in voting have greatly harmed him and other GOP candidates.

In addition, the hearings are supposed to look into voter registration list maintenance and what is being done to prevent noncitizens from voting. 

There is no evidence of foreign nationals voting in US elections… especially not in numbers large enough to have an impact on the outcome. In the rare cases that this happens, it is usually because the individual trying to vote was confused whether they were eligible.

It should be noted that this would be one of the dumbest crimes to commit for anybody. The penalties for voter fraud are extremely harsh, so risking imprisonment for casting a single vote would be foolish. 

And, even though it is already illegal for noncitizens to cast ballots in national elections, Johnson announced that he would introduce legislation outlawing this non-existent problem again. 

So, what’s the point of all this? 

On the one hand, it’s getting soundbites from Republicans from these “televised” hearings. It seems unlikely that they will be aired in their entirety because, in recent hearings on topics related to President Biden’s possible impeachment, GOP lawmakers have often looked foolish. 

More importantly, however, the move will further undermine Americans’ confidence in the presidential election, which will allow Trump to once again claim that the election was stolen if he loses. 

As for Johnson’s legislation to ban noncitizens from voting (it must be reemphasized that this is already the law of the land), chances are that it will be designed to make it more difficult for naturalized citizens and young people to vote if they can’t meet new ID requirements. Needless to say, those two groups of people predominantly support Democrats. 

Fortunately for US democracy, the new legislation will all be for show since it will not pass the Senate.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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