Ballots are stored in boxes and bags as workers recount Milwaukee County's ballots at the Wisconsin Center. Photo by Adam Kelnhofer, WisPolitics.com, Nov. 23, 2020.

Former Justice Michael Gableman’s office paid $7,520 to a West Virginia firm owned by a man who said it was “complete, absolute bull crap” to say the 2020 election was the most secure election in American history, according to records obtained by WisPolitics.com.

Cain & Associates owner Nate Cain claimed in a Dec. 5 podcast the count was paused last fall so opponents could figure out how many votes were needed to overcome Donald Trump’s early lead and falsely claimed it was statistically impossible for Joe Biden to overtake him.

In Wisconsin, Biden overtook Trump in the unofficial statewide results after absentee ballots from Milwaukee County and Green Bay were added to the totals as the count proceeded into the early hours of the day after the election. Trump requested a recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties that upheld the tallies in those communities.

In the podcast, Cain called for a forensic audit of the results nationally.

“If that does not happen, I am telling you, there will not be a peaceful transition in this country,” Cain told The Debbie Aldrich Show. “We will be looking at a potential of a start of another civil war in this country.”

Gableman’s review of the 2020 election, authorized by Assembly GOP leaders, has been criticized for its association with those who have espoused conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. That includes Gableman traveling to Arizona to observe the much-maligned review of Maricopa County results and the former justice attending a symposium in South Dakota hosted by Mike Lindell. The My Pillow CEO has falsely claimed Trump will be restored as president.

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, slammed Gableman for paying someone who questioned whether the country would have a peaceful transfer of power and openly talked about the potential for civil war.

“Mike Gableman and Speaker (Robin) Vos continue to waste taxpayer money crossing off every box on the way to conspiracy town,” Hintz said.

A spokeswoman for Vos, R-Rochester, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

A spokesman for Gableman’s office noted the special counsel has not espoused or embraced conspiracy theories about the 2020 election as he has reviewed various allegations.

“His credibility on the so-called right should actually give comfort to some of these people on the left,” the spokesman said. “The way he’s been using that has not been to air out conspiracy theories, but to systematically go through them.”

The Cain & Associates invoice, obtained through an open records request, lists various consultant services. That includes: election technology; attending meetings with Gableman; researching state and federal laws “relevant to investigating electronic voting machines;” and developing a list of paper and electronic records required to be maintained for 22 months after a federal election.

Cain told WisPolitics.com in a phone interview Monday that his services included sitting in on meetings Gableman had with others about election integrity to serve as an objective third party.

“He wanted to make sure there was somebody there representing his interest, which is to get to the truth of the matter, not to get led down a wild goose chase,” Cain said.

Cain said he was introduced to Gableman by Phill Kline, the former Kansas AG who is now with the conservative Amistad Project. The organization was involved in multiple suits regarding the 2020 election, including one that sought unsuccessfully to prohibit five Wisconsin cities from using private money from an organization that was funded largely by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg.

Another unsuccessful suit sought to require the Legislature to certify presidential electors before congress signed off on the vote. That suit was thrown out, and a Washington, D.C.-based judge recommended the Minneapolis attorney that filed the Wisconsin case face discipline.

The Gableman spokesman said the former justice consulted with Kline and briefed him on the investigation earlier this fall, but the former Kansas AG has not been compensated.

Cain said he hadn’t received payment as of Monday. The invoice shows the check was cut last week.

Platinum subscribers can see more in Monday’s PM Update.

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