Summons for Wisconsin Election Consideration Canceled
The head of a Republican-led inquiry into the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin overturned his decision to subpoena Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl.
Former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman had requested subpoenas to appear against Witzel-Behl in a $ 680,000 taxpayer-funded investigation into the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. Gableman also requested subpoenas from officials in Milwaukee, Racine, Green Bay and Kenosha.
Wisconsin mayors play no role in running the election, so Gableman’s motives for issuing the subpoenas in the first place are unknown. The subpoena to Witzel-Behl focused on the communication she and her office had with groups that awarded grants for the administration of the election during the pandemic, according to the CapTimes.
“Most people, including me, don’t have a comprehensive understanding, if any, of how elections work” Gableman said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Officials involved in the investigation told Madison City District Attorney Michael Haas on Thursday that the subpoenas had been quashed, Haas told CapTimes. In a public statement, Haas said the initial subpoenas were both unnecessary and unreasonable due to the short deadline for complying with Gableman’s request.
“Of course, all of this could have been provided without a subpoena in the first place,” Haas said. “We appreciate that they acknowledged that the initial request would have been unsuccessful before October 15.”
The investigation, which began in March 2021, has received widespread criticism from Democrats in Wisconsin who say there is not enough evidence to continue an investigation.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul held a press conference on Monday, calling for a halt to the election investigation.
“Here is the gist: this false investigation is an abuse of the authority of the legislator” Kaul said at the press conference. “It is corrosive to our democracy.”
Kaul also criticized Gableman’s leadership role in the investigation, saying Gableman possesses considerable political biases that make him unfit for his post.
âJudge Gableman also made statements indicating that he prejudged the outcome,â Kaul said. âHis false claim shortly after the 2020 election – that the election was stolen – should have led him to refuse to participate in this investigation. “
Rhodes-Conway previously criticized Gableman’s request to conduct a closed-door interview and called the quashing of subpoenas “good news” during a phone call with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
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“I hope this means he understands that our Wisconsin clerks and election officers did a great job in organizing not only the November 2020 election, but all the elections in Wisconsin,” Rhodes-Conway noted.
Governor Tony Evers echoed Rhodes-Conway’s criticism, calling the investigation “A $ 700,000 boondoggle. “
“I would like to ask Tony Evers how is it a mess for the people of Wisconsin to know if their election was conducted fairly?” Gableman responded in a video.
Gablemam will continue its investigation and says violations of law and protocol may have occurred in the Wisconsin presidential election as well as the lack of ballot security, according to AP News.
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