By Dan Levine
(Reuters) – The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday asked a U.S. judge to hold the Republican National Committee in contempt of court over allegations that Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to intimidate minority voters.
The DNC accused Republicans in a court filing of violating a longstanding consent decree, which restricts Republicans’ ability to question voters at the polls and prevent those people from casting a ballot.
During the presidential campaign, Republican nominee Trump has asked followers to “watch” for fraud in the Nov.8 presidential election in certain areas where minority voters reside, even though no evidence of fraud exists, the filing said. Some of Trump’s followers have pledged to do just that, the filing said.
The RNC has supported Trump’s “ballot security endeavors,” Democrats said in the court filing.
The RNC said the filing was completely meritless.
“The RNC strictly abides by the consent decree and does not take part directly or indirectly in any efforts to prevent or remedy vote fraud. Nor do we coordinate with the Trump campaign or any other campaign or party organization in any efforts they may make in this area,” a RNC spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “The RNC remains focused on getting out the vote.”
Representatives for the Trump campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.
The DNC asked a New Jersey federal judge to issue an injunction preventing the RNC from spending money on voter integrity efforts, and to instruct its field offices that no employee shall participate in any ballot security measures.
(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Andrew Hay)
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at his Trump National Doral Miami resort in Doral, Florida, U.S. October 23, 2015. To match Special Report USA-ELECTION/TRUMP-GOLF. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo