Gableman sends subpoenas to Milwaukee, Green Bay officials

October 1, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The former state Supreme Court justice leading Assembly Republicans’ probe of the 2020 election has sent subpoenas to election officials in Wisconsin’s five largest cities and the state elections administrator demanding information about private donations used to run voting operations.

Michael Gableman sent subpoenas to election officials in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Kenosha and Racine as well as Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The subpoenas seek documents related to grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life.

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 those five cities, drawing criticism from Republicans that the money was meant to boost turnout in Democratic areas.

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The subpoenas command the officials to appear before Gableman in Brookfield on Oct. 15 with their documents.

Officials in Green Bay and Racine said attorneys were reviewing the subpoenas. Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg declined comment. Madison City Attorney Michael Haas said he hadn’t had a chance to review the subpoena in detail. Kenosha City Clerk Matt Krauter didn’t immediately return a message. Wolfe said the agency is analyzing its subpoena and had no further comment.

A recount and court decisions have affirmed that President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Wisconsin by almost 21,000 votes. Only four voters out of roughly 3 million who cast ballots have been charged with fraud.

Regardless, Trump still refuses to concede defeat and has pressured GOP legislators to investigate election fraud. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman in June at a cost of nearly $680,000 in taxpayer money to conduct the investigation.

Gableman released a video last month saying he’s not trying to overturn the election results. But he told Trump supporters in November that he thought the election was stolen and a former Trump official appears to be working with him on the investigation.

The probe has drawn bipartisan criticism, with Republican state Sen. Kathy Bernier, chair of the Senate elections committee, saying there’s no reason to spread misinformation about the election.

Republican Rep. Janel Brandtjen, chair of the Assembly elections committee, filed her own subpoenas seeking ballots, voting machines and other data from Milwaukee and Brown counties. But Vos declined to sign them, rendering them invalid.

Vos did sign Gableman’s subpoenas. He issued a statement saying Gableman is “dedicated to finding the truth.”

Republican lawmakers also have ordered the Legislative Audit Bureau to review the election.