Texas Secretary of State David Whitley resigned in disgrace on Monday after he questioned the citizenship status of tens of thousands of eligible voters in his home state.
As the Austin American Statesman reported on Monday, Whitley was forced out of office after he oversaw "an error-filled investigation into the citizenship status of registered voters that prompted three federal lawsuits and an eventual court settlement that halted the probe and limited the scope of future investigations."
Whitley's resignation comes just six months after he was appointed to the job by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who accepted Whitley's resignation while praising his "moral character and integrity."
Whitley in January announced that his office had identified roughly 100,000 registered voters who were ineligible to cast ballots in state elections -- and he even referred them to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for potential criminal prosecution. However, Whitley's claims quickly fell apart when it was revealed that the secretary of state's list was filled with naturalized citizens who were eligible to vote.
Writing on Twitter, CNN's Jake Tapper points out that Whitley had some high-level encouragement from President Donald Trump for his botched campaign to purge voters.
"58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote," Trump wrote in a tweet this past January, just after Whitley made his announcement. "These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID!"
58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of… https://t.co/6X3mJjfYfL— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1548595339.0