Friday, April 12, 2024

Michael Gableman, the onetime prober of the 2020 election, is now working to oust Robin Vos

From JSOnline:

Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON – A former state Supreme Court justice who spent more than $2 million in taxpayer dollars to review the 2020 election is now representing a group of supporters of former President Donald Trump in their effort to unseat the legislative leader who hired him to probe the last presidential election.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman represented a group of Racine County-area supporters of Trump who have launched two recall campaigns against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos during a Thursday night meeting of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Commissioners rejected the group's first recall effort citing a lack of valid signatures.

Representing the group attempting to recall Vos is the latest move by Gableman to target Vos after the speaker hired him being in 2021 to review the last presidential election, a probe that catapulted Gableman to a national platform with election conspiracy theorists and made him a favorite of Trump.

The former Supreme Court justice's contract with the state began in July 2021 after Trump leveled public criticism of Vos and other legislative leaders for not doing more to litigate his Wisconsin election loss in 2020. 

Vos hired Gableman to probe the 2020 election and continued to renew his contract for a year even though the review never revealed any evidence of significant fraud or new facts related to the election not previously known.

Vos ended Gableman's contract with the state that provided more than $100,000 in salary to Gableman over 14 months. The review cost state taxpayers more than $2 million through costs for salaries and legal fees related to lawsuits filed against Gableman and Vos over ignored requests for public records. 

Ultimately, Gableman turned on Vos and endorsed Vos' primary opponent and publicly encouraged Vos critics to consider recalling him.

On Thursday, Gableman became combative with commissioners and commission staff and at one point suggested the efforts of the group he represented had been "infiltrated" and alluded to potential involvement by Vos without providing evidence.

"(The petitioners), in fact, had a two hour meeting with the FBI because they, and based on what I've heard and read, I believe that recall 1.0 was intentionally sabotaged, it was infiltrated by outsiders from New York and Florida," Gableman said. "I can't say whether it was done at the behest of Robin Vos or on his behalf."

Petitioners did not gather enough valid signatures during the first recall attempt and have been accused of employing circulators who forged signatures.

Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson as of March was investigating nearly 30 complaints from area residents who said their signatures were forged by the recall organizers.

Matthew Fernholz, an attorney for Vos, told commissioners Thursday a review of the petitions revealed signatures from people who were not old enough to vote, who were not citizens, or who were incapacitated at the time the petition was allegedly signed, among other allegations.

Vos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Molly Beck can be reached at


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