The former state Supreme Court Justice leading the GOP-ordered review into the 2020 election said during a recent interview that he may be forced by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to pack up his Brookfield office by the end of the month.
Speaking Thursday on a podcast hosted by former President Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Michael Gableman said he has recently been contacted by officials in Vos’ office notifying him of plans to dismantle his office within a matter of weeks.
“I know that prior to the release of my report on March 1, that Speaker Vos went on the radio and he told everyone within listening distance within a couple of states’ area reach that March 1 would mark just the beginning of the Gableman investigation,” Gableman said, adding, “Now I’m getting calls from Speaker Vos’ office … telling us that they’re going to pick up our office equipment on April 26. There must be more investigation.”
Vos, R-Rochester, hired Gableman last year to lead the review at a cost of $676,000 in taxpayer funds, but has recently said he would like to see the effort come to a conclusion in the near future.
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“As we’ve said before, the investigation will now turn its focus to resolving the lawsuits that have been brought against our efforts by liberal activists,” Vos said in a statement Friday. “We hope to have Justice Gableman help us do that so we can once again focus on reforming the election process.”
Vos did not comment on Gableman’s statement regarding the closure of his Brookfield office later this month.
After extending Gableman’s contract through the end of April, Vos later said he was considering rescinding subpoenas issued by the former justice so that a Republican attorney general if elected in November could file criminal charges against the subpoenaed individuals, though he did not provide specifics on what charges could be pursued.
Speaking with Bannon, Gableman, who is being paid $11,000 a month for his work, urged listeners to put pressure on Vos to keep the review going.
“We must pursue those subpoenas in court,” Gableman said.
Backing off on subpoenas could drastically shorten the ongoing review. The new contract maintains Gableman’s existing budget, but does allow for the possibility of added funds to cover the costs of legal battles related to the probe.
In at least one of the ongoing court cases surrounding Gableman’s review, a Waukesha County Circuit Judge has scheduled a July 11 hearing in a case to decide if Gableman has the authority to demand that the mayors of the state’s five largest cities and other officials be jailed for not cooperating with his subpoenas.
Gableman was one of several Trump supporters to attend a meeting at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this week for an event focused largely on unproven claims of election fraud, where he was met with applause from the crowd and praise from Trump, The Washington Post reported.
A recount, court decisions and multiple reviews have affirmed that Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by almost 21,000 votes. Only 24 people out of nearly 3.3 million who cast ballots have been charged with election fraud in Wisconsin.
Despite that, Gableman earlier this year suggested the Legislature decertify the 2020 results, which experts and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have described as a legal and constitutional impossibility. He also called for the “elimination and dismantling” of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, based …….