Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was fined $1,000 by a federal magistrate for misleading representations in a lawsuit involving federal voting laws, but has yet to turn over documents on the issue that he wrote for then President-elect Donald Trump.

“The court agrees that defendant’s deceptive conduct and lack of candor warrant the imposition of sanctions,” U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara said in the decision, according to The Associated Press

Kobach, a prominent proponent of immigration restrictions and increased voter laws, was fined for not turning over documents that referenced possible changes to the National Voter Registration Act.


Kobach was photographed taking the documents into a meeting with Trump after his election. The American Civil Liberties Union pushed to obtain the materials, and Kobach essentially said he didn’t have such documents, which the judge cited as a misrepresentation.

The magistrate stated that the documents were needed to create a “true and accurate picture of the facts presented to the court.”

O’Hara added that “the court urges defense counsel to garner good reputations for themselves by taking care in the future to act honestly and graciously towards the court and opposing counsel.”

The court required that Kobach turn over the documents to the ACLU, but the secretary of State and his team designated the documents “confidential,” preventing the magistrate from making them public.

Public records laws against mandatory disclosure protected Kobach from being forced to reveal the documents. O’Hara stated that in spite of the ruling, the documents may be made public if filed under formal pleadings in the case.   

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