Wisconsin GOP election leader criticizes 2020 investigation, Kaul calls for probe to end

File - In this June 6, 2011 file photo, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Gableman,...
File - In this June 6, 2011 file photo, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Gableman, speaks during session at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis. Gableman will not seek a second term next year, creating an open seat on the state's highest court unless he resigns and a replacement is named before the election. A person with direct knowledge of his decision but who was not authorized to speak publicly about it told The Associated Press of Gableman's decision Thursday June 15, 2017. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal, Pool Photo via AP File)(John Hart | AP)
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 11:44 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 4:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The GOP-ordered investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election is running into opposition from the Republican leader of the Assembly election committee, who says she’s been kept out of the loop and doesn’t agree with moves being made by the leader of the probe.

The latest twist comes after Michael Gableman, the retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice leading the investigation, issued a video taking aim at Gov. Tony Evers.

The Democratic Evers called the taxpayer-funded Gableman investigation “a $700,000 boondoggle.” Gableman’s effort was criticized Monday by Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), who says she’s been kept in the dark and that the probe isn’t broad enough.

Meanwhile, the state’s Attorney General - who represents the state elections commission - is calling for the investigation into the 2020 presidential election to be shut down.

Attorney General Josh Kaul said Monday that the investigation is a partisan political effort that lacks credibility, wastes taxpayer money and is not serious:

“This is not a serious investigation. Even if an investigation like this were justified—and it’s clearly not—this one suffers from glaring flaws that destroy any credibility that its results could have. This investigation is irrevocably tainted by bias. It was announced at a partisan political event, and it was significantly expanded after Speaker Vos’s airplane meeting with former President Trump. Justice Gableman has also made statements indicating that he had pre-judged the outcome. His false claim shortly after the 2020 election alone—that the election was stolen—should have led him to decline to participate in this investigation. In addition, this investigation isn’t being professionally or competently conducted. It’s clear that the investigators here are learning basics of election administration as they go. No serious investigator would conduct an investigation under these circumstances. And no one should treat the results of this investigation as credible. Here’s the bottom line: This fake investigation is an abuse of the legislature’s authority. And Wisconsin taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for this beginner’s guide to election administration and investigations. This is corrosive to our democracy. My request to Speaker Vos is simple: shut this fake investigation down.”

Attorney General Josh Kaul

Kaul’s comments came after Gableman’s video was released.

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) issued this statement after Kaul said the investigation should be shut down:

“Election integrity should be a bipartisan effort. Sadly Attorney General Kaul has sided with the out-of-state billionaires meddling in our elections and ignored Wisconsin citizens who bring up irregularities. In order to restore confidence in our election system, Justice Gableman will continue his investigation. The subpoenas have been issued correctly – a fact backed up by the nonpartisan Legislative Council in a memo requested by Assembly Democrats.”

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.