MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – The former state Supreme Court justice leading Assembly Republicans’ inquiry into the 2020 election has sent subpoenas to election officials from the top five Wisconsin cities and the state election administrator demanding information on private donations used to organize voting operations.
Michael Gableman sent subpoenas to election officials in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Kenosha and Racine as well as Wisconsin Election Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The subpoenas are to obtain documents relating to grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life.
The subpoenas order officials to appear before Gableman in Brookfield on October 15 with their documents.
This Brookfield office presents itself as a flexible workspace. The suite number he provided is the same number listed as belonging to a couples therapist and liposuction clinic, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman in June at a cost of nearly $ 680,000 in taxpayer dollars to conduct the investigation.
Gableman posted a video last month saying he was not trying to overturn the election results. However, he told Trump supporters in November that he believed the election was stolen and that a former Trump official appeared to be working with him on the investigation.
CTCL gave more than $ 10 million to more than 200 Wisconsin communities last year to help cover election costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the money went to these five cities, drawing criticism from Republicans that the money was intended to increase turnout in Democratic areas.
Officials in Green Bay and Racine said lawyers were reviewing the subpoenas. Milwaukee Election Commission executive director Claire Woodall-Vogg declined to comment. Madison City District Attorney Michael Haas said he had not had a chance to review the subpoena in detail. Kenosha City Clerk Matt Krauter did not immediately return a message. Wolfe said the agency is analyzing his subpoena and has no further comment.
A recount and court rulings claimed President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes. Only four voters out of about 3 million people who voted have been accused of fraud.
Regardless, Trump still refuses to admit defeat and has pressured GOP lawmakers to investigate voter fraud.
The inquiry drew bipartisan criticism, with Republican State Senator Kathy Bernier, chair of the Senate Elections Committee, saying there was no reason to spread disinformation about the elections.
Republican Representative Janel Brandtjen, chair of the Assembly Elections Committee, filed her own subpoenas to request ballots, voting machines and other data from Milwaukee and Brown counties. But Vos refused to sign them, rendering them invalid.
Vos signed Gableman’s subpoenas. He issued a statement saying that Gableman is “dedicated to finding the truth”.
Republican lawmakers also ordered the Legislative Audit Office to review the elections.