Jun 5, 2019

Texas Gov. Abbott behind voter purge plan, DPS emails claim

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Two senior Department of Public Safety officials cited Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) as initiating a drive to purge nearly 100,000 suspected non-U.S. citizens from state voter rolls, emails made public Tuesday show. His office denies the claims.

Why it matters: In February, a federal judge said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas. State officials reached an agreement with civil rights groups in April to halt the voter citizenship review, putting an end to multiple federal lawsuits challenging their controversial plan.

Details: The League of United Latin American Citizens and the Campaign Legal Center, which represented plaintiffs who sued Texas over the purge, provided the emailed correspondences. In one exchange, dated Aug. 27, 2018, DPS official John Crawford tells staff to provide the driver's license data used to compare with voter rolls.

"We delivered this information earlier this year, and we have an urgent request from the governor’s office to do it again."
— DPS official John Crawford email

What they're saying: Abbott’s office denied to AP he'd had any contact with the agency before the launch of the now-scrapped purge in late January. "Neither the Governor, nor the Governor’s office gave a directive to initiate this process,” Abbott's spokesman said in a statement, per AP. "No one speaks for the Governor’s office, but the Governor’s office."

Go deeper: Trump cites misleading Texas statistics in voter fraud claim

Editor's note: This headline has been amended to change "indicate" to "claim."

Go deeper

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Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.

Trump signs executive order targeting protections for social media platforms

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms.

What they're saying: "Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it's been very unfair."