John Lewis: Trump voter fraud commission 'a form of harassment'

John Lewis: Trump voter fraud commission 'a form of harassment'
© Greg Nash

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) ripped President Trump's voter fraud commission in an interview set to air Friday, calling it a "form of harassment."

"That is a form of intimidation," Lewis told Democratic strategist and CNN commentator David Axelrod on the CNN's "The Axe Files."

"That's a form of harassment," he added.

Trump authorized the creation of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in May to investigate his widely debunked claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. 

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The commission, headed by Vice President Mike PenceMike (Michael) Richard PenceOvernight Defense: Trump gets briefing at Pentagon on ISIS, Afghanistan | Senate panel approves five defense picks | Senators want Syria study in defense bill Rhode Island becomes ninth state to enact automatic voter registration After Trump scolding, Senate to try again on ObamaCare repeal and replace MORE and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has come under fire from critics who accuse it of being a tool for voter suppression. Some argue it could lead to Americans being improperly removed from state voter rolls. 

"Some of the people that make up this commission have a history, a long history, of making it harder and difficult for people to participate in the democratic process," Lewis said. "We've come too far. This president should be leading us into the future, not taking us backwards."

He did not specify which commission members he was referring to. 

Dozens of secretaries of state have pushed back against the panel's request for sensitive voter data, which includes driver's license numbers, dates of birth, party affiliations and the last four digits of social security numbers.

Lewis, who was among the "Big Six" civil rights leaders along with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has been a fierce critic of strict voter identification laws, arguing that they amount to a "poll tax."