Joint Legislative Audit Committee Dems called on Co-Chair Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, for a “comprehensive audit” of former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman’s 2020 election probe.

Sen. Melissa Agard, of Madison, Sen. Tim Carpenter, of Milwaukee, Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, of Middleton, and Rep. Francesca Hong, of Madison, made the request Wednesday after Gableman said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos “never wanted a real investigation into the 2020 election in Wisconsin.”

Gableman made the statement in a robocall supporting Vos’ primary opponent Adam Steen. The Rochester Republican narrowly defeated Steen Tuesday.

“In light of this revelation, it is imperative that the Legislative Audit Bureau conduct a thorough review of the Office of Special Counsel,” the Dems wrote in a letter to Cowles.

Cowles’ office and the office of interim Co-Chair Rep. John Macco, R-Ledgeview, did not immediately return requests for comment on their response to the audit request.

Dems also requested LAB look into Gableman’s office in February and March. In Wednesday’s letter, they questioned why Vos would fund the review if he wasn’t interested in a real investigation, and cited concerns Gableman is touting the investigation for partisan purposes.

The Dems called the probe, which has now cost taxpayers more than $1 million, “one of the most blatant misappropriations of tax dollars in state history.”

“The fact that the Speaker handed Gableman a blank check to peddle conspiracy theories and lies should alarm every Wisconsinite,” they wrote. “This entire sham of an investigation has led to countless questions about how this money was spent. We demand answers.”

Vos on Tuesday called Gableman an “embarrassment to the state” and said Assembly GOP leadership and the caucus will meet next week to discuss next steps on his review of the 2020 election.

Evers Wednesday told reporters it’s time for Vos to fire Gableman and “get over the last election.”

“If he doesn’t do that, then I’m fearful that we’re going to be talking about this election for the next 20 years,” the guv said.

See the letter here.

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