Trump dissolves voter fraud commission

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE on Wednesday dissolved a controversial commission that was set up to investigate his unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

The White House said Trump decided to disband the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity because several states failed to hand over voter information.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that “rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense,” Trump signed an executive order abolishing the panel and turning the matter over to the Department of Homeland Security.

The order brought an abrupt end to a highly touted commission that Trump created last May.

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It was established months after Trump claimed, without citing evidence, that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election, depriving him of a popular-vote victory against Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer Obama adviser Plouffe predicts 'historical level' of turnout by Trump supporters Poll: More Republican voters think party is more united than Democratic voters Whoopi Goldberg presses Sanders: 'Why are you still in the race?' MORE.

Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a vocal supporter of voter ID laws, led the commission. It was made up of Republicans and Democrats.

The panel met twice, but was quickly bogged down amid states’ unwillingness to comply with its requests and lawsuits alleging it did not follow federal record-keeping laws.

The Government Accountability Office announced last October it was opening an investigation into the commission at the request of three Democratic senators who said the panel did not properly disclose its work.

Democrats and civil-rights groups described the commission as part of a broader conservative effort to deprive minorities of voting rights and a cover to back up the president’s claims.

"The claim of widespread voter fraud in the United States is in fact, fraud. The demise of this commission should put this issue to rest," Michael Waldman, president of the liberal Brennan Center for Justice, said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBiden calls on Trump to appoint coronavirus 'supply commander' Democrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.) celebrated the panel's end, calling it a "front to suppress the vote, perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims" that "was ridiculed from one end of the country to the other."

Some leading Republicans, including Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (Wis.) and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Trump says he's considering restricting travel to coronavirus 'hot spots' MORE (R-S.C.), also urged Trump last year to drop his claims of widespread fraud.

The announcement of the panel’s demise capped off a chaotic news day at the White House, which scrambled to push back against former chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s explosive criticism of the president and his family in a new book.

It also came roughly 24 hours after Trump challenged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter over the size of his "nuclear button," a comment that sparked new fears of a deadly conflict with Pyongyang.

Updated 7:40 p.m.