A federal election commissioner has sent a letter to President Donald Trump calling on him to provide evidence to back up his allegation that voter fraud took place during the November 2016 presidential election.
Trump suggested that he would have won the state of New Hampshire if voting fraud -- including the bussing in of supporters -- had not taken place, the Huffington Post reported.
During his first weeks in office, Trump alleged that between 3 and 5 million people voted illegally in the election. He vowed to call for a "major investigation into voter fraud" and the White House suggested he would sign an executive order to that effect, Politico reported.
"This allegation of a vast conspiracy, involving thousands of people committing felony criminal acts aimed at stealing the election, has deeply disturbed citizens throughout America. I have heard from many of them, including proud and patriotic New Englanders who are shocked by the allegation and feel that it impugns their historic role in our democracy," wrote election commissioner Ellen Weintraub in her letter, according to the Post.
Weintraub proceeded to remind Trump of the power of his office.
"As the President of the United States of America -- our head of government and head of state -- your words carry considerable persuasive and legal weight. Because of the trust that Americans place in their presidency, some lawmakers around the country may be tempted to rely on your words and move forward with unwarranted voter restrictions," added Weintraub. "Indeed, this could result in deterring or preventing American citizens from voting."
Trump has stated that Vice President Mike Pence would lead an investigation into voter fraud claims, but no further details on its progress have been released by the White House.
Trump's avoidance of the issue has been welcomed by some Republicans.
"I'm glad, because it seemed like it was a distraction to what he hopes to accomplish and Congress hopes to accomplish in the policy realm," Tray Grayson, former Kentucky secretary of state, told Politico. "There doesn't appear to be strong evidence to defend the claims."
Weintraub argued Trump's allegations could have damaging results.
"This country should make policy based on facts, not unsupported statements, no matter how high-ranking the source. In these polarized times, we will never be able to find common ground on sound policy going forward if we are operating on different assumptions of what occurred in the recent past," she wrote. "Our democracy depends on the American people's faith in our elections. Your voter-fraud allegations run the risk of undermining that faith."
"Facts matter, Mr. President," Weintraub wrote, before repeating her demand. "The American people deserve to see your evidence."
The Trump administration has avoided committing to a timetable for the investigation.
"Staff is continuing to work to put the framework together for this process," Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Pence, told Politico. "We will let you know when we have additional updates on it."