Gableman Review “disruptive” and “problematic for our democracy”


October 18, 2021

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman’s partisan review of the 2020 presidential election – which is based on unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud – is straining local election administrators and hurting the political process state, according to Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell.

For weeks, Gableman went back and forth over whether or not he would require clerks from across the state to testify, in private, before him and his staff. He has also been back and forth about his ability to grant immunity to those who testify or even whether he has the power to prosecute people as a special appointed advocate. He also called for thousands and thousands of files that do not exist, that have already been turned over to the Assembly Elections Committee, or that would undermine electoral security in the state if clerks comply with requests to Gableman, McDonell says.

Gableman traveled to Arizona to attend the widely derided audit of the Maricopa County election and a conference in South Dakota with MyPillow CEO and election conspirator Mike Lindell.

Recently, Gableman and a lawyer working for him, former Trump lawyer Andrew Kloster, said they don’t really understand how election laws work. Both men also said, without proof, that the election was stolen.

“It’s been a lot of work to track everything and how this can affect us or anyone in the county,” McDonell said. “It’s like your head is spinning, the constant contradictions and changes of direction. It’s problematic for our democracy to continue to stir up the big lie and try to promote this idea that there was something wrong. ‘was wrong with the November election. Trump himself nominated by Trump said it was the safest, most secure and accurate election. Unfortunately, people here are abusing it. “

The flip-flop, confusion and conspiracy investigation is “surreal,” McDonell says. One of Gableman’s requests copied a request made by a citizen trying to conduct his own election review, pointing to the amateurish nature of Gableman’s work.

“The biggest problem is the constant conversations with our legal team; some of these requests – inappropriate is the wrong word,” McDonell said. “Some of the requests we received would ensure that foreign adversaries could hack our elections. That’s the method by which that would happen. It’s surreal.”

“He has not read the documents already handed over to the Assembly Election Commission he is supposed to work for,” McDonell said of Gableman.

So far, the only look the public has had at what Gableman is doing has been through three videos posted to a YouTube channel in which Gableman defends his investigation, but offers little information.

“The problem is, you can’t talk to him,” McDonell says.

Gableman also made recent comments that contradict normal legal processes, saying local officials should not work with government lawyers to respond to subpoenas or requests for documents.

“It is not necessary to hire a lawyer and there should not be a lawyer between the people of Wisconsin and their elected and appointed government officials,” said Gableman.

But McDonell says that’s not the way subpoenas work. In fact, if a government office receives a subpoena for any reason, the first step should be to go to staff lawyers. And even in regular open case requests filed with a government agency, that agency’s staff attorneys are involved in the response.

“Everyone knows that if you’re contacted by a lawyer with a subpoena, it’s the first thing you do,” McDonell says of staff attorneys’ involvement in responding to subpoenas. “It’s not even controversial; you would be in trouble if you didn’t. “

Even though Republican members of the assembly refuse to back down – despite considerable public pressure – from the review they have commissioned Gableman to conduct, McDonell expresses concern about what this means for the future of the election.

“The biggest problem from a job standpoint,” he says, “is that this is going to go on and on. The constant demands for open records as a vehicle for recount attempts as opposed to normal mechanisms are going to keep going. disrupting people in state polling stations. We’re going to have to prepare for all of this. None of this happened in 2016 when Donald Trump won.… The vote is correct. Same thing in 2020. Now those standards are destroyed. “

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