According to a report from the New York Times, former president Donald Trump engaged in what was termed "unprecedented" attempts to influence the national census which led to a revolt by senior executives who were upset with his meddling.
The report notes that the twice-impeached president and his aides were attempting to rush the results of the census in September of 2020 so that, should he lose to now President Joe Biden, he could create havoc within the House of Representatives.
As the Times' Michael Wines wrote, Ron S. Jarmin, the deputy director and the Census Bureau's day-to-day head was one of three senior execs who pushed back at White House influence.
"The memo laid out a string of instances of political interference that senior census officials planned to raise with Wilbur Ross, who was then the secretary of the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau," Wines wrote. "The issues involved crucial technical aspects of the count, including the privacy of census respondents, the use of estimates to fill in missing population data, pressure to take shortcuts to produce population totals quickly and political pressure on a crash program that was seeking to identify and count unauthorized immigrants."
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According to the report, officials believe that Trump was going to use the inaccurate numbers to reapportion the House -- which could have implications for years in the balance of power.
Former Census Bureau head Kenneth Prewitt, now at Columbia University indicated the memo exhibited "extraordinary pushback against political interference."
"This was a very, very strong commitment to independence on their part," Prewitt explained. "They said, 'We're going to run the technical matters in the way we think we ought to.'"
According to the Times' Wines, "The Trump administration had long been open about its intention to change the formula for divvying up House seats among the states by excluding noncitizens from the population counts. That would leave an older and whiter population base in states with large immigrant populations, something that was presumed to work to Republican advantage."
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