Watchdog group to continue Wisconsin case against Vos and Gableman, seeking more records
Tuesday in a Wisconsin court, a liberal watchdog group that has filed lawsuits over a Republican-led investigation of false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election in the state says it will keep pushing for more records of the probe.
That's even though last Friday, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos fired former State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman as head of the investigation, and closed what was known as the Office of Special Counsel.
Heather Sawyer is executive director of Washington D.C. based American Oversight. She says Vos or Gableman need to release more records from the investigation, which has cost state taxpayers more than one million dollars.
"I think what we haven't seen is the full extent of the communications between some of individuals that were enlisted to work on the investigation, who were highly partisan, who had been involved in other contexts. For example, representing former President [Donald] Trump in some of his own challenges to the Wisconsin election. So, we haven't gotten, in our view, the full story here," Sawyer tells WUWM.
Sawyer says it isn't clear that earlier records ordered released in the case came from Vos or Gableman doing a comprehensive search.
"Whether or not the contempt order that was issued showing there had not been an adequate effort to find records, to run adequate searches—whether or not that has now been cured. It's our position that steps need to be taken," Sawyer says.
Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington could issue additional rulings during a hearing Tuesday morning.
Earlier this month, released records obtained by American Oversight showed that two weeks after Gableman told state lawmakers in March that they should consider decertifying the 2020 election won by Democrat Joe Biden in Wisconsin, that Gableman told Vos in a private memo that such a move would be a "practical impossibility."
Vos' office did not respond to our request for comment for this story.
In a press release Friday, Vos urged electing a Republican Governor who won't veto GOP bills changing elections laws. Democrat Gov. Tony Evers says the election bills he's vetoed over the last three years would have made it harder to vote.