Assembly Speaker Robin Vos | official website
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said on Tuesday that former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman’s partisan review of the 2020 election will extend past the end of his contract on Saturday.
Gableman has frequently missed deadlines as he’s conducted the review, which was supposed to end last year. Gableman and Vos have blamed lawsuits from election officials and officials from largely Democratic cities that are fighting against subpoenas requesting private interviews. The officials say that Gableman’s authority as a special counsel for the Legislature only allows him to conduct interviews publicly in front of a legislative committee.
Attorneys for Gableman have said in court it’s more important to get the interviews done than worry about the constitutional issues raised by the requests. As he’s fought for the private interviews, Gableman has threatened to jail the mayors of Green Bay and Madison, as well as election officials in some of the state’s largest cities.
Vos said the review will be extended after receiving pressure from former President Donald Trump and Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee), the chair of the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and elections.
“Anyone calling themselves a Republican in Wisconsin should support the continued investigation in Wisconsin without interference,” Trump said. “I understand some RINOs have primary challengers in Wisconsin. I’m sure their primary opponents would get a huge bump in the polls if these RINOs interfere,” he continued, using an acronym for “Republicans in Name Only.”
As Gableman’s review has continued and other state Republicans have pushed conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen, Vos has faced pressure from the right wing of the state’s Republican party and threats of a primary challenge.
On Tuesday, Vos released a statement saying the review will remain open “as we guarantee the legal power of our legislative subpoenas and get through the other lawsuits that have gridlocked this investigation.”
“We are grateful for Justice Gableman’s offer to reduce his salary as we are all concerned about the judicious use of taxpayers’ dollars,” Vos said. “Our intention is to remain within the original budget allocated for the investigation.”
Gableman has been receiving $11,000 a month as he’s conducted his work since last summer. He was initially given a budget of $676,000. Vos did not announce the details of Gableman’s new agreement.
While Vos has faced pressure from the right to continue the review, there’s also been bipartisan condemnation of Gableman’s partisan probe, which has been rife with errors and publicized allegations that were roundly and immediately debunked.
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