Vos expects Gableman election report by end of February

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he expects the Republican special adviser hired to investigate the 2020 election to release a report on his findings by the end of February.

But Vos said that would not be the end of the investigation led by former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, whom Vos hired last summer under pressure from Republican activists and former President Donald Trump. . Gableman, a Trump supporter, began to cast doubt on the 2020 elections shortly after President Joe Biden’s victory.

Gableman’s original contract ended last October, but Vos has since said the two verbally extended the deal. The deal provided up to $676,000 in taxpayer funding for Gableman’s office.

Republicans initially said Gableman’s findings would help them draft legislation to deal with future elections, but the legislature is tentatively set to hold its final session of the year in March.

Vos, a Republican from Rochester, told WISN-AM radio in Milwaukee that he was in regular contact with Gableman and believed he would produce his final report by the end of February.

“Now just because he’s releasing a report doesn’t mean he’s done,” Vos said. “We still have subpoenas. We still have lawsuits from the left, you know. This won’t end until we get through this whole process.”

Gableman’s investigation has indeed been the subject of several court cases, including one that he himself initiated.

Several Dane County judges are hearing lawsuits brought by liberal watchdog group American Oversight that allege Vos and Gableman withheld or suppressed documents related to the investigation. Gableman sued the mayors of Madison and Green Bay in a case that began when he issued subpoenas to city leaders, threatening them with jail if they didn’t comply. The next hearing in this case will not take place until April 22.

Gableman also subpoenaed members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, members of Governor Tony Evers’ administration and representatives of voting machine companies, among others. Vos said Friday that “we’ve issued over 100 subpoenas,” but he didn’t go into detail.

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Vos’s deal with Gableman has been criticized by Democrats and at least some rank-and-file GOP members, but for drastically different reasons.

Democrats say the Gableman contract is a waste of money and the entire investigation is a sham that could do lasting damage to democracy in Wisconsin.

Some Republican activists say the deal gives Vos too much power over Gableman’s investigation. Among the Republicans in that camp is State Rep. Timothy Ramthun, R-Campbellsport, the election conspirator who called on the Legislature to decertify Biden’s victory and recently announced his candidacy for governor.

Asked about the arrangement, Vos said he did not handle Gableman’s investigation.

“We specifically said it would be his investigation,” Vos said. “We don’t micromanage it. We don’t run it.”

A handful of Republican parties in the county have also called on Vos to step down from his leadership role, citing his punishment of Ramthun last month. Vos stripped Ramthun of his only full-time legislative employee in the state Capitol after the legislature began criticizing Vos in a series of press releases under the title “Let there be light.” Ramthun accused Vos of acting illegally when his attorney endorsed the use of drop boxes in the 2020 election and suggested that Vos’s role in the National Conference of State Legislatures led to their use in Wisconsin. .

Vos said he thought Republicans who were angry with him were frustrated because they mistakenly thought he was capable of nullifying the 2020 election.

“They believe that somehow, if I just voted, I could unseat and put Donald Trump back in power,” Vos said. “It’s impossible.”

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