WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A law enforcement officer said that former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked him to investigate possible double voting and non-citizen voting, and that missing ammunition that had been purchased by Kobach's office was to keep his certification current.
Craig McCullah told The Associated Press that he was working in the secretary of state's office as its communications director when Kobach asked him to take on law enforcement duties in order to conduct interviews with people suspected of voter fraud.
"It was not like I was out with a firearm trying to bust bad guys who voted," McCullah said. "It was more of an administrative thing for keeping my license."
His role came to light on Thursday after current Secretary of State Scott Schwab issued a news release saying he had asked the FBI to find out what happened to 1,000 rounds of missing ammunition purchased during Kobach's tenure. The FBI located the ammunition and the remaining 218 rounds were returned Thursday morning. They will be given to Capital Police.
"It didn't seem appropriate to have ammunition unaccounted for, especially when purchased with state funds," Schwab said in an emailed statement. "We're grateful for the help of law enforcement to ensure the ammunition was located and returned in a timely and safe manner."
The FBI said it was made aware of the allegations and referred the matter to federal prosecutors.
"We evaluated the case when the FBI brought it to us and based on that evaluation we declined to prosecute," said Jim Cross, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas.
Kobach, who is now running for the U.S. Senate seat in Kansas, is a conservative Republican who built a national profile as an advocate of tough immigration and voter identification policies. He advised Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and afterward and served as vice chairman of a short-lived presidential commission on election fraud.
McCullah, who is now Shawnee County GOP director, said he just carried his badge during the voter fraud investigation, but still needed to remain current on firearms practice to keep his law enforcement certification.
"We never really ever thought there was any kind of a threat," McCullah said.
McCullah said he was given permission to use his own 9MM firearm due to an issue with the firing pin safety on the weapon the secretary of state's office had purchased. He said the ammunition was always kept at his home, and he returned the remaining rounds to the secretary of state's office after the FBI contacted him.
He figured he probably fired about 100 rounds a month at range between the spring of 2016 and early 2018.
Danedri Herbert, the former spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office during Kobach's tenure there, said the ammunition purchase was not made at Kobach's direction.
"However, it is routine for security personnel in a government agency to be supplied ammunition to maintain their certification," Herbert said.