Tierney Sneed from TPM:
Before he was named by President Trump to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, Donald Palmer, a former GOP-appointed secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, assisted in the creation of sensational voter fraud reports that prompted a defamation lawsuit, documents released in the litigation Friday revealed.
Palmer helped devise an approach to collecting certain voter registration data, which was then used to claim that there were thousands of noncitizens on Virginia’s voter rolls and that many of them had voted, according to the documents. He also helped edit a draft of the report, and he additionally flagged for his collaborators that a Virginia state election official who was resisting turning over the data had previously worked for a civil rights organization.
“Of course, this is the pool of talent of the current governor,” Palmer allegedly wrote, referring to then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).
The revelations came in the deposition of J. Christian Adams, whose group, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, released the reports. The lawsuit’s plaintiffs — who include citizens who were falsely identified in the reports’ materials as noncitizens who had illegally registered to vote — have accused Adams’ of withholding discovery and are now seeking to re-open his deposition.
In his original deposition, Adams claimed that he and Palmer worked “collaboratively” ahead of the release of the first iteration of the October 2016 report, known as “Alien Invasion.” A follow-up report, “Alien Invasion II,” was released in May 2017….
According to Adams, he discussed with Palmer the “availability” of so-called “noncitizen cancellation records” for PILF to obtain from elections officials. Adams later sent Palmer a draft of the report, which Palmer commented on with edits, according to the deposition.
Adams got combative, however, when he was asked whether he relied on Palmer’s assessment in deciding to label the individuals identified in the reports as noncitizens. Since the reports were released, elections experts have noted that honest mistakes or administrative errors could lead to the mistaken removal of citizens for citizenship status issues….
A volunteer who was working on the project wrote in October 2016 to another potential collaborator — who had expressed concern because he knew someone identified in the records — that 10-15 percent of the individuals are “accidentals” meaning “citizens had trouble with the forms.” The volunteer, Steven Albertson claimed in his own deposition he believed Adams was the source of the estimate.