Report: Pro-Trump Election Official Ousted Amid Leftist Pressure Campaign

According to an exclusive report this week by the Daily Caller, a one-time adviser to former President Donald Trump was forced out of her subsequent position on the Election Assistance Commission’s advisory board when leftist activists staged a coordinated attack on her.

Citing emails that outline the troubling claims, the report asserted that Cleta Mitchell, the Conservative Partnership Institute’s senior legal fellow, was appointed to serve a two-year term on the board in November 2021 but soon became the target of John Bonifaz of the organization Free Speech for People. 

He reportedly vowed to initiate a “public campaign” against the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights if the agency did not boot Mitchell from the EAC at the conclusion of her term. 

As Bonifaz warned in late 2023: “I am writing as a courtesy to let you know that, unless we hear from you by tomorrow, November 29, at 5 pm ET that the USCCR has decided not to reappoint Cleta Mitchell, we plan to launch a public campaign criticizing the USCCR for this decision, including by publicizing a copy of your 10/5/23 email below to me, which as you know is a public record. I wanted to let you know about this so you’re not surprised if e.g. you or the Commission receive media calls.”

The activist group published a lengthy statement the following day describing Mitchell as an “election denier” and touting the fact that she was not re-appointed to the commission. 

Bonifaz went on to criticize the USCCR for appointing Mitchell in the first place, asserting: “Today’s announcement is a triumph for our democracy.”

The decision to appoint Mitchell, who was on the phone during Trump’s controversial call with then Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger regarding that state’s 2020 election results, was also criticized by a number of other left-leaning sources.

University of California Irvine School of Law professor Rick Hasen asserted at the time: “Cleta Mitchell helped Donald Trump try to overturn the results of a valid election. She should not be sitting on a board that helps states advance fair elections and democratic processes.”

Mitchell addressed the revelations about Bonifaz’s email, noting that although she had not been aware of that incident specifically, she knew of “a number of left-wing groups … went berserk” upon learning of her appointment to the commission.

“I do find it ironic that a group that supposedly promises ‘free speech for people’ organized a campaign to make sure that the opinions and views of people like me are not heard,” she concluded.

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