An investigation that is one of several ongoing election integrity efforts in Wisconsin has a deadline today to produce compelled documents. Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman is the Special Counsel running the investigation. Gableman has subpoenaed at least five Mayors and officials in cities that received the most’ Zuckerbucks.’ Gableman has said he will be “guided by facts, not personalities” with the purpose of “truth, and not expedience.”
The Rumble account for the Wisconsin Office of Special Counsel that Gableman heads have uploaded two videos in the past two days that announce updates to the investigation and explain the subpoena process. In the first, Gableman criticized Governor Tony Evers’ publicly advising subjects of the investigation to “lawyer up.” In the second, he explained that public officials who work with his office “in good faith” would be offered a more informal process to provide relevant information:
“In cases where public officials are not interested in working with us, we have no alternative but to exercise the power granted to us by the State Assembly in order to compel them to testify and produce the documents this office has requested.”
Gableman joined a Green Bay Common Council Zoom meeting on Oct. 5 that was open to the public in what appeared to be an unscheduled visit. After returning from a closed session portion of the meeting in which matters associated with pending litigation were discussed, volunteers from the public were invited to come forward.
Gableman was the first to address the open session:
“We are looking forward this investigation will be guided by a search for the truth and not political timetables. We are not relitigating the 2020 election [it is] not a prosecution; it is not even litigation. This is not an adversarial process. We are all citizens of the same country; we all want open, honest, and fair elections.”
“One of the more vocal criticisms from some quarters is that this investigation is an effort to somehow restore former President Trump to the White House. If that is the program, nobody has shared it with me, nor would I have accepted this job if that was the condition.”
“The thing that I’m authorized to do is to prepare a report and submit it back to the Senate, and although everything is subject to change, my working plan is to have a report that contains four sections.”
Those he outlined:
What should have happened?
What did happen?
The difference between one and two.
Recommendations for future adjustments or changes in the law.
Along with three broad areas of inquiry:
The guidance role of the Wisconsin Election Commission.
The CTCL and any other private groups that participated substantially in the administration of the election.
The reliability and accuracy of the voting machines.
“My job is to find out which have merit and which don’t. Another knowledgable observer asked me not too long ago, ‘What do I think happened?’ 20 years as a prosecutor or a judge of one type or another, I have learned the essential requirement; good prosecutor, a good judge, a good State Supreme Court Justice never makes up his or her mind until all parties, all sides have been heard from.”
State Representative Janel Brandtjen, who has led election integrity efforts in Wisconsin from the legislature as chair of the Assembly Campaigns and Election Committee, had been supportive of the investigation in her Oct. 1 press release, which stated:
“I’m extremely supportive of both the Legislative Audit Bureau’s investigative audit and Justice Gabelman’s investigation. I remain confident that the results of both efforts will confirm what most of us already know, that the voters of Wisconsin deserve a full, top-to-bottom cyber-forensic audit, particularly in the two counties that I have previously requested, namely Milwaukee and Brown counties. I also believe the investigations will show that the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) has been negligent in the performance of their duties.”
However, after Gableman’s various public statements and explanations, Brandtjen has switched gears.
Gableman joined Dan O’Donnell on his radio show on Oct. 8 to say:
“I’ve got the Pat Marley’s and his boss, George Stanley on the left, who are attacking my very wish to find out the truth about what happened in the election, and then some who claim to be Conservatives are criticizing me for not reflexively going to an Arizona full style audit.”
“I had a lengthy conversation with former Sheriff Clarke, where for 45 minutes I had to listen to him try to sell me on that, and I guess he did start his own private organization to raise money for it. Every time he said that for 45 minutes, I said, ‘Sheriff, that’s great, but can you tell me what you mean [by full forensic Arizona style audit] the only response he gave me was ‘I don’t know, I just know we need a full Arizona style audit.’ So my response is, I go to Arizona, I spend the better part of a week there, on my own time—this is before the Sept. 1 [Special Counsel] contract—I’m on my own. I’m down there trying to learn what they did, and what they did was ineffective at best, crazy at worst.”
“There were good people. That guy, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, Doug Logan, I heard universally good things about him, but he was just given an impossible task. There was no independent government actor, such as I am, to guide the investigation. It was purely guided by [Cyber Ninjas]. He was taking money directly from the private fundraisers. Fundraisers do not do this out of the goodness of their hearts or their concern for their fellow man. Maybe that’s part of the mix, but they do it for profit. I made it very clear to all of the fundraisers, we are not going to have Christmastime for fundraisers and lawyers in Wisconsin.”
In addition to those comments, Gableman made more at the Green Bay Common Council meeting that drew Brandtjen’s attention. He referred to “the immunity that is set forth in Chapter 13 of the Wisconsin statutes” for “anyone who is compelled to provide information as a result of [his] subpoenas.”
Brandtjen then released a response statement on Monday titled ‘Rep. Brandtjen Does Not Support Immunity for Mayors’:
“Justice Michael Gableman does not speak for myself or for the Wisconsin Assembly’s Campaigns and Elections Committee. The current subpoenas have not been approved by the Assembly’s Campaigns, and Elections Committee that Justice Gableman is supposed to serve, nor have the subpoenas even been submitted to the committee. Like the public, the committee members learn of Justice Gableman’s actions by radio interviews, newspaper reports, and YouTube videos. His videos must have had approved spending by the speaker, as I have not approved them.
I do not approve of the current list of subpoenas to the five Wisconsin Mayors, as this provides immunity to them in any trial or criminal proceedings. Mayor Genrich of Green Bay allowed a non-profit group to operate central count, provided this non-profit group keys to central count, and issued a city ID to a partisan operative from New York. He has committed dereliction of duty and should be held accountable. Providing him immunity after all the time it has taken to uncover his actions will not serve justice. Speaker Vos stated in an interview that he is okay with providing immunity to these Mayors; I am not.
Justice Gableman has recently defamed the Arizona Audit as ineffectual. If he had read the report, he would have realized they discovered 17,000 duplicate ballots, 23,000 mail-in ballots from people who no longer live at the listed address, and 9,000 more mail-in ballots received than sent. We are not questioning how many ballots were counted; we are questioning the number of ballots that may be fraudulent.
Justice Gableman and Speaker Vos continue to dismiss the need for a similar audit of physical ballots and voting machines in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Elections Commission does not consider routers and Splunk logs as part of the election materials, but they were recently made available at the Arizona audit. Until we address these issues, questions will remain about tabulator hacking.
Even Justice Gableman seems to find it difficult to have a ‘comprehensive understanding of how elections work.’ A cyber forensic audit, including the recounting of physical ballots and an audit of the machines, would finally rebuild trust in Wisconsin elections.”
State Representative Timothy Ramthun, who had requested forensic additions to the LAB audit, was already skeptical of the investigation:
“All said, I find it very difficult to support any efforts other than the transparent full forensic physical cyber audit, with auditors and investigators reporting to Chair Brandtjen and her committee. She has the momentum. With resources, she will get results. This is what the people of Wisconsin demand. As only a servant in search of truth and transparency, I believe all other efforts are wholly insufficient and obstructionist in nature.”
On Tuesday, he also followed up on Brandtjen’s statement in one of his own, titled ‘Rep. Ramthun: Echoes Concerns’:
“Communication is key in crisis management. It is severely lacking between the Special Counsel investigation and the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections. This wouldn’t be happening if the Special Counsel was reporting to the committee instead of directly to Speaker Vos. In conjunction with the lack of support given to the committee, I question the legitimacy of the Special Counsel investigation itself.
Furthermore, whether there will be interviews by this Friday or not, the issue of possible immunity is of grave concern to me and should not be allowed to affect a true fact-finding audit. Speaker Vos has stated that he is okay with providing immunity. Chair Brandtjen is not, and neither am I.
An audit of physical ballots, voting machines, routers, and Splunk logs is required before any investigation takes place. This is the way for closure to be achieved. An audit of this nature is requested by 49 Republican county parties in our state. The Campaigns and Elections chair needs to submit the two legitimate subpoenas for immediate signature and processing. We do not have time for further games that continue to run out the clock.”
On the O’Donnel radio show, Gableman explained the subpoenas and countered what O’Donnell calls “misinformation,” and Gableman calls “lies” from legacy media about his investigation.
He called the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal, who had run multiple pieces critical of his investigation, a “Saul Alinsky publication” selling a political ideology. He also noted that it rhymes with urinal and compared it to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. However, he later pulled back to an agreement on a comparison to propaganda from Russsian Pravda. He accused the publication further:
“[It’s a] leftist publication in Milwaukee that is an opinion publication… they are abandoning all pretense. They’re going down the toilet. They pick an effective leader or an effective representative of a political ideology that they disagree with, and then they follow the radical Saul Alinsky that Hillary Clinton did her Master’s Theses on at Wellesley. She said, ‘Yes, to change America; you first have to destroy it. You have to pick apart the person who is effective leading your political opposition, and you have to find personal and political flaws, both real and imagined, and exploit them, so that even their supporters want to ostracize him or her.’”
UncoverDC will continue to report extensively on efforts toward election integrity in Wisconsin and across the nation.