Wisconsin Republican Defends Legitimacy of 2020 Election Investigation

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Politics|The Republican starring Wisconsin’s 2020 enquiry defends its legitimacy and warns of subpoenas.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/20/us/politics/wisconsin-2020-election-investigation.html

Michael Gableman, right, successful  2015, during his tenure arsenic  a State Supreme Court justness  successful  Wisconsin. 
Credit...Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald, via Associated Press

Reid J. Epstein

  • Sept. 20, 2021, 1:21 p.m. ET

The Wisconsin Republican starring the state’s partisan enquiry into the 2020 predetermination results connected Monday took his astir nationalist measurement guardant yet, informing predetermination clerks that they would look subpoenas if they did not cooperate and defending the investigation’s legitimacy by declaring that helium was not seeking to overturn President Biden’s triumph successful the state.

“We are not challenging the results of the 2020 election,” Michael Gableman, a blimpish erstwhile State Supreme Court justness overseeing the investigation, argued successful a video posted connected YouTube. The inquiry, helium said, “may see a vigorous and broad audit if the facts that are discovered warrant specified a people of action.”

The five-minute video released by Mr. Gableman comes astir 3 months aft Robin Vos, the Republican talker of the Wisconsin Assembly, assigned him to look into erstwhile President Donald J. Trump’s mendacious claims that the state’s predetermination was stolen from him.

The Republicans’ continuing effort to re-examine the 2020 results successful Wisconsin comes arsenic Trump allies elsewhere person gone to large lengths to undermine Mr. Biden’s victory. Arizona Republicans are adjacent the extremity of a monthslong reappraisal of ballots successful Maricopa County; Pennsylvania Republicans last week approved subpoenas for driver’s licence and partial Social Security numbers for each elector successful the state; and 18 states, including Texas this month, person passed laws this twelvemonth adding caller voting restrictions.

In caller weeks, Trump-allied conservatives successful Wisconsin person shown nationalist vexation astatine the gait and transparency of Mr. Gableman’s investigation. This month, a radical led by David A. Clarke Jr., a erstwhile Milwaukee County sheriff who has been a salient purveyor of mendacious claims astir the election, held a rally astatine the State Capitol successful Madison to protestation what it argued was insufficient devotion by Mr. Gableman and the state’s Republican leaders to challenging the 2020 results.

Mr. Gableman said connected Monday that his probe would necessitate the municipal officials who run Wisconsin’s elections to beryllium that voting was conducted properly. He said section clerks would beryllium required to obey immoderate subpoenas helium mightiness issue.

Election clerks successful Milwaukee and Green Bay ignored erstwhile subpoenas issued by the Republican chairwoman of the Assembly’s elections committee for ballots and voting machines. Mr. Vos had declined to o.k. those subpoenas.

“The work to show that our elections were conducted with fairness, inclusivity and accountability is connected the authorities and connected the private, for-profit interests that did enactment for the government,” Mr. Gableman said. “The load is not connected the radical to amusement successful beforehand of an probe that nationalist officials and their contractors behaved dishonestly.”

Mr. Gableman added that helium did not program to merchandise accusation to the nationalist connected a regular clip framework but would bash truthful erstwhile helium recovered it appropriate.

“My occupation arsenic peculiar counsel is to stitchery each applicable accusation and, portion I volition gully my ain conclusions, my extremity is to enactment everything I cognize and everything I larn earlier you, the citizen, truthful that you tin marque up your ain mind,” helium said.

The president of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Ben Wikler, said the Gableman video was grounds that authorities Republicans were astatine likelihood with 1 different implicit however acold the predetermination probe should go.

“Robin Vos and his far-right ‘investigator’ Michael Gableman are intelligibly upset that the astir utmost fringe doesn’t deliberation they’re going acold capable to entertain conspiracy theories,” Mr. Wikler said. “They’re wasting payer funds to service the governmental interests of a tiny radical of Republican insiders who privation to erode the state to vote. It’s a sham, a discarded of clip and money, and it’s damaging our democracy.”

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