Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced today at the state GOP convention that former conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman will lead investigators in a 2020 general election probe.
Vos said Gableman’s additional experience as a district attorney and circuit court judge qualifies him to coordinate three retired police officers the Rochester Republican has hired to look into election fraud claims.
“This is not a partisan effort,” Gableman told GOP activists while addressing the party convention. “Nobody should disagree with the idea that honest, open, fair, transparent elections ought to be what take place, because if we don’t have that, we have nothing.”
Gableman was elected to the state Supreme Court in 2008, but declined to seek another 10-year term three years ago. He appeared at a post-election rally last November in support of Trump, telling a Milwaukee crowd, “I don’t think anyone would be here if we all had confidence that this was an honest election.”
Kayla Anderson, the rapid response director for the state Dem Party, knocked Vos’ hire of Gableman, saying announcing it at the GOP convention “doesn’t get more political than that.”
“This fishing expedition won’t teach us anything we don’t already know — the 2020 election was secure, and Joe Biden is our legitimately elected president, period,” Anderson said. “The only thing Republicans are accomplishing with this political stunt is destroying trust in our elections.”
Vos made the announcement during a panel discussion at the state convention with Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg. Both pushed for Gov. Tony Evers to sign 10 Republican-backed bills to overhaul state election policies, including one that would allow district attorneys to prosecute alleged fraud in neighboring counties.
LeMahieu said the bills would “make it easier to vote but make it harder to cheat” and accused “liberal clerks” of attempting to take advantage of loopholes during the 2020 election. Vos echoed LeMahieu’s confidence in the bills and criticized Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich for ceding too much election-running authority to a consultant he hired using a $1.6 million private grant.
“Who here is all pissed off about last fall’s election?” LeMahieu asked the crowd, which responded with applause.
Their comments came after former President Donald Trump late Friday accused Vos, LeMahieu and Senate President Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, of trying to “cover up election corruption” by preventing a forensic audit of election results in Milwaukee. Trump issued a similar broadside against GOP leaders in Michigan last week after a report led by a Republican state senator debunked several false claims surrounding the results of the 2020 election. In Friday night’s statement, he warned the Wisconsin lawmakers could face primary challenges if they don’t pursue an audit.
“Don’t fall for their lies!” Trump implored in his statement. “These REPUBLICAN ‘leaders’ need to step up and support the people who elected them by providing them a full forensic investigation. If they don’t, I have little doubt that they will be primaried and quickly run out of office.”
During the panel discussion, Vos also praised Republican lawmakers for reworking Evers’ budget, which he called a “liberal wish list.” Vos boasted that the budget includes a $3.3 billion income and property tax cut, one of the largest tax breaks in Wisconsin history.
“That’s real money that people are keeping in their wallets,” LeMahieu said. “It’s great that we can provide this tax relief for taxpayers in Wisconsin.”