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New Documents Reveal the Real Reason Behind Trump’s Push to Add Citizenship Question 2020 Census

New Documents Reveal the Real Reason Behind Trump’s Push to Add Citizenship Question 2020 Census

Donald Trump’s administration pushed to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census as part of an effort to change the way the House of Representatives 435 seats are designated among the 50 states, therefore changing the Electoral College to perhaps favor him in the 2020 Presidential election, a new set of documents reveals.

The documents, released by the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, offer the clearest evidence to date that the Trump administration’s public justification for adding the question — “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” — was made up by Trump’s staff.

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]
Trump officials had repeatedly signaled their interest in using citizenship data to try to break with more than two centuries of precedent in how congressional seats and Electoral College votes are redistributed among the states. Ultimately, the question did not end up on the 2020 Census forms. In 2019, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s unprecedented efforts to change the Census after finding its use of the Voting Rights Act as the stated reasoning for the question “seems to have been contrived,” as Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

The Trump administration memos and emails were shared by House Oversight following a more than two-year legal fight that began after Trump officials refused to turn them over for a congressional investigation. The Biden administration, which inherited the lawsuit last year, agreed to allow House Oversight members and their staff to review the documents, citing the “exceptional circumstances” of the case.

The documents also suggest that former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross worked to find “a legitimate use of data” to conceal the administration’s true intent.

“Today’s Committee memo pulls back the curtain on this shameful conduct and shows clearly how the Trump administration secretly tried to manipulate the census for political gain while lying to the public and Congress about their goals,” said Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in a statement. Maloney recently introduced legislation that seeks to block future political interference at the census bureau.

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