Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said it’s “possible, if not likely” that former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman will request an interview with state elections commission administrator Meagan Wolfe before a Dane County judge takes up a request to bar such an interview.
Vos, R-Rochester, also said it’s possible the Republican investigation into how the 2020 election was conducted may carry over into 2022 and additional subpoenas could be issued, but he did not say what those might entail.
On Monday, Dane County Judge Rhonda Lanford scheduled a hearing for Dec. 23 on Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul’s request for a restraining order against subpoenas, issued earlier this year by Gableman and authorized by Vos. Gableman was hired by Vos to lead the one-party investigation into some of the procedures voters and clerks relied on in casting and processing ballots in the 2020 election.
Gableman had agreed earlier this month to rescind his initial request for interviews with Wolfe and the mayors and election clerks in the state’s five largest cities, but said he reserved the right to demand meetings in the future. Lanford did not issue an immediate restraining order against Gableman’s request on Monday but encouraged attorneys for Gableman, the state Assembly and Wisconsin Elections Commission to notify her if anything changes on the matter.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Vos said he is reviewing Kaul’s request for a restraining order but said Gableman may still seek an interview with Wolfe before the December hearing.
“It’s certainly possible if not likely that we will issue those prior to the Dec. 23 hearing,” Vos said. “But in keeping with the judge’s ruling, we’ll ensure that we do it in a way that also gives an opportunity for those to move forward.”
Kaul, who is representing the Wisconsin Elections Commission and Wolfe, issued the request for a temporary restraining order on Thursday, stating that Gableman’s subpoenas were overly broad and “infected with the numerous legal flaws.” Kaul also said interviews need to be held in public before a legislative committee, rather than in private, as Gableman had requested.
Gableman had initially said his review of the election would be completed by the end of October, but Vos said last week the review may be finished before the end of the year. In light of the legal challenge by Kaul, Vos said it’s possible the investigation won’t wrap up until next year. Vos has committed $676,000 in taxpayer funds to the investigation.
Senate Republican leaders on Monday announced plans to conduct their own investigation into the 2020 election, with a focus on the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s report on the state and local administration of last November’s presidential election. The Audit Bureau’s report, released Friday, made dozens of recommendations to the Legislature and elections commission on how to improve election administration.
A recount and court decisions have affirmed that President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by almost 21,000 votes last November. Four voters out of roughly 3 million who cast ballots have been charged with fraud.