Wisconsin election investigator says he deleted records

Thursday, June 23, 2022
author picture Daniel Marino
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Open Records Requests and Michael Gableman

After an investigation into the Wisconsin election‚ the attorney for Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos‚ Michael Gableman‚ deleted hundreds of records and deleted his personal email account‚ as well. During a court hearing‚ Gableman testified that he routinely deleted records and deactivated his personal email account. The case led to a contempt charge against Vos‚ but the judge decided not to penalize him for the actions. A written contempt ruling will determine what actions Gableman's office must take to comply with open records requests.

MADISON (Wis.) -- An ex-Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court was hired to conduct an investigation. President joe bidens victory the battleground state's testimony Thursday said that he deleted records routinely and had deactivated an email account personal even though he received open records requests. Michael Gableman Robin Vos was called to testify in court about the possibility of him being penalized for hiring Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. He had been previously found guilty in contempt over how he dealt with records requests from American Oversight. Valerie Bailey-Rihn‚ Dane County Circuit Judge decided not to punish Vos for contempt but stated that she would decide later whether or not to penalize Vos because of his handling open records requests. A hearing was scheduled for July 28. Bailey-Rihn stated that Gableman's testimony was inconsistent at times. However‚ it was evident that Gableman had destroyed records contrary to the overall scheme of things. Gableman was hired by Vos a year earlier under Donald Trump's pressure to examine the loss of Biden to just over 21‚000 Wisconsin votes. Taxpayers have spent approximately $900‚000. Biden's win has been able to withstand two recounts and multiple lawsuits. Gableman issued two interim reports but has been subject to a lot of criticism from both parties. Vos suspended his work this spring in the wake of two lawsuits that challenged his authority to subpoena officials involved in elections and other election-related activities. Gableman‚ who testified Thursday at the hearing‚ said he worked early on the investigation in a Milwaukee library. He also used his own email account. Gableman stated that he didn't keep the notes taken during meetings‚ which included one hosted in August by Mike Lindell in South Dakota. Gableman also stated that records were deleted if they weren't pending. He said it wasn't useful or relevant to his work and that the records had been removed. Did I delete documents? He said that I had. Gableman stated that his Yahoo account was deleted by someone at his office after American Oversight had made an open records request. Gableman used the account to send emails last summer‚ before he received an open records request from American Oversight. Gableman was asked by the judge if he searched for records responsive to deletion of his account. He replied‚ "I believe so." Gableman asked me if I recall ever going back. However‚ I would have examined every email account that was available to me. Gableman revealed also that COVID-19 was something he needed to be treated at the hospital after attending an August election conference held by Lindell in South Dakota. Gableman stated that I had gone there thinking there would be solid evidence to support Chinese interference in the voting machines. It was also annoying that I went out‚ and it turned out that I had COVID. Nevertheless‚ there was nothing I could do during the seminar. Gableman was also questioning the judge and said that his research involved getting to grips with elections because he didn't have an intricate or sophisticated understanding. Gableman smiled while taking the stand and calmly answered the questions of the judge as well as American Oversight lawyer Christa Westerberg for over 90 minutes. Two weeks earlier‚ he had made some sarcastic comments about Westerberg in another case. Gableman declined to answer any questions during the hearing. Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington issued a harsh order accusing Gableman last week of being unprofessional and misogynistic. Gableman was fined $2‚000 per day for failing to comply with open records requests. The case was referred to the attorney regulation office in the state‚ where further discipline action may be taken. Gableman has appealed that ruling Vos and Assembly argued they weren't responsible for Gableman’s records. But Bailey-Rihn disagreed. Bailey-Rihn disagreed. She had found Vos guilty of violating the records laws in March‚ but decided Thursday that Vos had made efforts to remove the contempt order. He was not asked if he would face any penalties for violating the open records laws. American Oversight‚ a liberal watchdog organization brought the case as one of three open-records lawsuits. They all seek information related to Gableman's investigation of the 2020 election.