October 3, 2022

Wisconsin GOP fires election inspector who made false fraud claims

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Madison, Wis. — A Republican-led review of Wisconsin’s 2020 election ended Friday, after the GOP Assembly speaker who launched the probe last summer fired the former state Supreme Court justice he appointed to lead it.

The firing comes a week after Michael Gableman, who led the investigation, joined former President Donald Trump against Speaker Robin Vos. Amid the veteran Wisconsin politician’s bid to fend off a primary challenge from the right.

A messy, year-old investigation Meetings with conspiracy theorists have been marked by Gableman’s call to investigate violations of the state’s public records laws and the legally impossible task of verifying election results. It did not reveal evidence of widespread fraud, despite Trump and Cableman trying to suggest otherwise.

“After several members of our caucus have contacted me over the past several days, it is not clear to me that we have only one option in this matter, and that is to close the Office of Special Counsel,” Voss wrote. Report.

Vos had a tenuous relationship with Trump, who supported the Wisconsin review but repeatedly pressed Vos to go further. Last week, Trump and Cableman endorsed it The longtime speaker’s Republican primary opponentThe former president held a rally urging voters to oust Vos.

Vos defeated Adam Stein in Tuesday’s primary, but received 51 percent of the vote. Stein called for confirmation of the election and branded Vos, one of the most powerful Republicans in Wisconsin, a traitor.

The shooting marked the end of a saga that had begun In June 2021, Vos, acting under pressure from Trump, announced Gableman’s hiring at the state Republican Party’s annual convention. A retired judge had earlier said without evidence that the election was rigged.

Gableman took months to set up his office and conduct online research from a public library in suburban Milwaukee. He toured the site of an often-criticized GOP-led ballot review in Arizona and attended a seminar in South Dakota hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has spread false claims about the 2020 election.

As he continued his review, he said Gableman acted impartially while attending Republican Party events and called for the Republican state senator’s resignation. Gableman also criticized the nonpartisan director of the state election commission’s dress code and monitoring of other people’s social media posts. He or one of his assistants made a note The Milwaukee city employee is speculated to be a Democrat Because she had a nose ring, liked snakes and lived with her boyfriend.

Gableman issued a statement in March calling on lawmakers to consider voiding the state’s 10 electoral votes for Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. Election experts — including Gableman’s own lawyer, James Popp Jr. — have long opposed the idea, saying Voss has no way of legally doing the job.

Cableman He admitted that his suggestion was “practically impossible”. A personal note to Voss, which came to light this month, two weeks later.

Vos forced Gableman to reimburse taxpayers for traveling to a partisan event, but publicly tolerated Gableman’s approach to the review. That changed after Cableman backed Stein and Vos downplayed the robocall, saying he “never wanted a real investigation.”

Former Trump adviser Stephen K. Appearing on Bannon’s podcast Monday, Cableman argued that Vos had a hand in stealing the 2020 election. (Recounts and court rulings in Wisconsin confirmed Biden’s victory, and independent reviews found no signs of significant voter fraud.)

“[Vos] The Wisconsin Elections Commission oversaw the implementation of all the nefarious machinery used to steal the election — and I’m not even going to tell you from a specific candidate. I’m going to say they stole it from the voters and good citizens of the state of Wisconsin,” Gableman said.

Gableman said Vos feared public criticism if he more seriously challenged the state’s election system, and Vos told him he wanted to tone down election issues.

“What he told me was that he didn’t think the election integrity issue was going to be a winning political platform for him or other Republicans, so he wanted to minimize all discussion and all behavior. [2022] election,” Gableman said.

Through his research, Cableman discovered new tidbits of information. The reports he wrote often reiterated the findings of conservative groups that criticized how the election was conducted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Voss initially gave Cableman a $676,000 taxpayer-funded budget, but Voss and Cableman quickly exceeded that as their legal bills mounted. Both lost a series of rulings and were found in contempt of court after a liberal watchdog group sued them under the US surveillance state’s open records law.

Voss telegraphed Gableman’s firing after announcing his primary victory, telling reporters Tuesday night, “He’s an embarrassment to the state.”