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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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In asking for a federal judge in D.C. to hand down a sentencing “significantly” lower than the statutory maximum, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller had found “no evidence” of Russian collusion while suggesting the special counsel sought to pressure Manafort to flip on others.

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The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, which provides states resources for their administration of elections, announced Monday that commissioner Christy McCormick would be its chair for the next year. McCormick, a Republican, mocked the 2017 intelligence community assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and, since then, has reportedly to continued to express skepticism that protecting elections from foreign interference should be a priority. She also served on Trump’s bogus voter fraud commission, which was disbanded in 2018 after it faced a slew of lawsuits.

North Carolina will hold a new election in its ninth congressional district. The state election board’s announcement of a do-over in the troubled race was just one of many dramatic twists over the course of four days of hearings examining allegations of election fraud in the district.

After Mark Harris, the GOP candidate who unofficially won the race, tried for months to distance himself from an operative he employed who allegedly conducted an absentee ballot fraud scheme, Harris’ own son took the stand and testified that he had warned his father multiple times about the operative’s shady tactics. And Harris himself reversed course by backing the new election after an attorney for the elections board asked him questions that hinted that the campaign had withheld documents from the state’s investigation and that Harris himself had made false statements in his testimony.

Also in North Carolina, a state court judge ruled Friday that Republicans’ voter ID amendment to the state constitution was invalid because it was put on the ballot by an illegally gerrymandered legislature. Time will tell if higher courts will uphold the ruling.

The Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for the Census citizenship question case  for April 23.

Meanwhile the Census Bureau announced its formal request with the Office of Management and Budget to test the question ahead of the 2020 survey. The announcement, a notice in the federal register, says that the Bureau “lacks definitive, empirical evidence on the impact of the inclusion of the citizenship question on self-response in the 2020 census.”

The admission that the Bureau doesn’t have evidence about how the question will affect the response to the survey is notable because, when the administration announced it was adding the question last year and faced pushback from groups concerned about an undercount, it pointed to the lack of evidence of a potential undercount to argue those concerns were overblown. At the time, critics of the question pointed out that the onus should have been on the government to study and test the question to determine its impact before deciding whether it should be added.

The lawsuits against Texas for its error-ridden list of alleged noncitizen voters were consolidated under a single court last week. A federal judge in San Antonio has held a multi-day hearing for a preliminary injunction in the case. A state election official admitted on the stand that he knew the data the list was drawing upon wasn’t fully accurate. Democrats in the state senate, meanwhile, have enough votes to block the confirmation of the interim secretary of state David Whitley over his handling of the list.

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