Official’s testimony adds new details to what we know about Trump administration’s census lies

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More information just keeps coming out exposing the Trump administration’s lies about its census citizenship question. James Uthmeier, the Commerce Department’s counsel, testified to House Oversight Committee aides, and even though administration lawyers blocked Uthmeier from answering nearly 100 different questions, his testimony highlighted a key lie from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Uthmeier “told committee staff members that Mr. Ross asked him to ‘look into’ adding the question within weeks of being sworn in,” The New York Times reports. That’s significant because Ross had claimed that the citizenship question came directly from the Justice Department as a means to enforce the Voting Rights Act. While that has always been an obvious lie, this is one more data point on how flagrant it was.

He also admitted to having consulted with John S. Baker, a Republican who has long pushed for a citizenship question for partisan, not voting rights, reasons.

Uthmeier’s testimony was cited in the House Oversight Committee’s bipartisan (thanks to Republican Rep. Justin Amash) recommendation that Ross and Attorney General William Barr be held in contempt of Congress.

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