GOP-appointed lawyer suspects election officials used Zuckerberg grants and David Plouffe’s book
The GOP-appointed lawyer hired to investigate the 2020 election in Wisconsin said he was trying to determine whether state government officials used grants from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to support the President Joe Biden in the race, the Associated Press reported.
Michael Gableman also expressed suspicion that these officials followed a plan detailed in the book “A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump”, which was written by David Plouffe, the former campaign manager of former President Barack Obama. .
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has hired Gableman, a former conservative member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, to investigate the 2020 election, AP reported. Although Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump by nearly 21,000 votes held steady throughout the recounts and allegations of widespread voter fraud have not been proven, some Republicans have continued to question the integrity of the election.
Of the more than 3 million Wisconsin residents who submitted ballots, only five were charged with voter fraud, AP reported.
Yet Wisconsin Republicans have recently increased pressure on state election officials. Gableman told lawmakers in a hearing Wednesday he filed lawsuits earlier in the week to force Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to testify because they have “everything simply failed for no reason or excuse to appear “.
Madison City District Attorney Michael Haas said he had heard nothing about a trial, while court records online did not list either case, according to AP.
For more Associated Press reporting, see below.
Acting City of Green Bay lawyer Joanne Bungert did not respond to emails and voicemail messages. City officials released a statement saying they had already provided Gableman with nearly 20,000 pages of documents and that no one had seen Gableman’s file on Monday, adding that the first time they had heard of it , it was through press inquiries after the committee meeting.
Gableman brushed aside criticism from Democrats that the investigation was too secretive. He listed all the people working for him and their salaries, including Ron Heuer, president of the Wisconsin Voters Alliance, who filed two unsuccessful lawsuits aimed at overturning the presidential election results; lawyer Andrew Kloster, a former Trump administration official who said the election was stolen; and two retired Milwaukee Police detectives.
Gableman has so far said he has spent about $ 175,000 of the $ 675,000 Assembly Republicans authorized for the investigation in August. He also promised to publish documents by Friday that will not “compromise” the investigation.
The former judge told the committee that he has now provided the transparency Democrats demanded and it is time for election officials to follow suit and cooperate with him. He started yelling with Democratic Representatives Mark Spritzer and Jodi Emerson, accusing them of ignoring his invitations to meet with him.
Emerson retorted that she finds it hard to believe what emerges from her investigation. Spritzer questioned Gableman’s impartiality and accused him of hiring Tories seeking to remove Biden from office.
“Stop making things up, Mark,” Gableman cut him off. “Your constituents deserve better. Shame on you.”
“Shame on you!” Spritzer fired back.
As Gableman testified at the State Capitol, the state election commission met on Zoom to discuss a non-partisan audit released last month that made 48 recommendations to improve the conduct of elections in the state. Thirty of these were to be considered by the commission and the rest were possible legislative changes for the legislature.
Since the panel is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, no significant changes are expected to be made on Wednesday to its current operations or to guidelines issued to the more than 1,800 local officials who actually run the elections.
The commission agreed to bipartisan votes to make some relatively minor recommendations made in the audit, but larger and more controversial topics were expected.
Republican Commissioner Dean Knudson said the audit provided “constructive criticism” but also blamed him for factual and “small” errors on issues such as the recommendation to adopt a rule to refer to the state voter registration system by brand name, rather than a generic term. .
The Audit Office also did not allow the Election Commission to submit a response that is included with the release of the report, a step that is routinely performed for other audits.
âThey actually acted unprofessionally in this case,â Knudson said of the audit office. “It’s disappointing.”
While some Republicans pointed to the audit as proof that Wisconsin’s election was safe and secure because it found no evidence of widespread fraud or abuse, others said it showed the commission had deliberately broke the law during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.