Fresh off of a visit with Donald Trump, the partisan investigator leading Wisconsin Republicans’ look at the 2020 election demanded more time and support from the legislature.
Michael Gableman, a former state Supreme Court justice, was supposed to be done with his probe months ago. But he’s kept extending the timeline, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) has kept accommodating him. Now, there are signs that’s changing.
“Prior to the release of my report on March 1, 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 told Steve Bannon in an interview Thursday, first flagged by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“And now I’m getting calls from Speaker Vos’ office asking — telling us that they’re going to pick up our office equipment on April 26,” Gableman said. “There must be more investigation.”
Vos has kept Gableman on a pretty long leash for months. But recently, things have gotten rocky.
Gableman’s “interim” report didn’t show any actual wrongdoing, and instead focused on election-related grants originating from Mark Zuckerberg that multiple courts have found to be legal. Gableman also falsely said several nursing homes had shown more than 100% turnout, and then recommended that the legislature consider “decertifying” the 2020 election, something it cannot do.
Then, late last month, a state court found Vos in contempt over his refusal to release public records related to the investigation.
So, Vos seems to want to get this over with. Last month, he floated withdrawing subpoenas issued as part of Gableman’s investigation.
In a statement to the Journal Sentinel, Vos said the review “will now turn its focus to resolving the lawsuits that have been brought against our efforts by liberal activists.” That may be a reference to the watchdog group American Oversight, the organization that sued over the unfulfilled records requests, which in turn led to Vos beind held in contempt.
“We hope to have Justice Gableman help us do that so we can once again focus on reforming the election process,” Vos added.
Gableman joined several other high-profile Trump allies at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday, the Washington Post reported, including Trump’s campaign-era legal advisor Cleta Mitchell and former White House advisor and Big Lie promoter Peter Navarro.
“Michael, you’ve been unbelievable,” Trump told the Wisconsin investigator, who — in endorsing Republican candidates and attending Mike Lindell’s voter fraud “symposium” — hasn’t tried to hide his political leanings.
On Thursday, asked by Bannon what his viewers could do to help, Gableman urged them to contact Vos, listing the Assembly speaker’ office phone number and email address.
“Thank him for his continued support of his office to get to the truth of what happened,” Gableman said.