Politics & Government

Watchdog group calls for investigation of Kobach stemming from Breitbart column

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the Department of Justice to determine whether Kris Kobach violated federal conflict of interest law.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the Department of Justice to determine whether Kris Kobach violated federal conflict of interest law. skeyser@kcstar.com

A liberal watchdog group is calling for an investigation of Kris Kobach.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said in a letter and statement released Tuesday that it is asking the Department of Justice to determine whether Kobach violated federal conflict of interest law.

The organization says the issue stems from a September column Kobach wrote for Breitbart. The Kansas Republican, who is running for governor, is a regular columnist for the far-right site.

In that September column, Kobach criticized New Hampshire’s same-day voter registration and wrote that a “pivotal, close election was likely changed through voter fraud.”

That election last fall saw Democratic Senate candidate Maggie Hassan defeat Republican Kelly Ayotte by roughly a thousand votes.

Days later, Kobach brought up the column at a meeting of President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission, which Kobach helps lead.

His claim was widely debunked by media outlets and New Hampshire’s secretary of state.

The group’s complaint alleges that Kobach agreed to be paid to write columns to Breitbart, and that the September column being incorporated into the voter fraud commission’s September meeting played into the alleged violation.

“The law is clear that government officials cannot participate in matters in which they have a financial interest,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement. “The Department of Justice should immediately investigate and take any action necessary.”

A spokeswoman for Kobach did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., is slated to appear with Kobach at a fundraiser for the Kansas Republican’s gubernatorial campaign Tuesday night.

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

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