American Oversight has obtained and published previously unreleased records that suggest that Robert Spindell — the Wisconsin elections commissioner who was one of the state’s “fake electors” following the 2020 presidential election — was potentially in contact with investigators working on the State Assembly’s partisan election investigation.
In May, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank Remington vacated an earlier decision by the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) to dismiss a complaint against the state’s 10 fake electors, who had submitted forged certificates to Congress falsely claiming that former President Trump had won the state. Remington’s decision requires the commission to rehear the case, but this time without the participation of Spindell, one of the six commissioners.
Records previously uncovered by American Oversight include emails from Darlene Lathrop to attorney Michael Gableman, who led the election investigation until his firing in the summer of 2022. In the emails, Lathrop appears to have advised Gableman on what tools and supplies he might need for the investigation’s office space. The new records identify Lathrop as Spindell’s assistant, suggesting that Spindell and Gableman were in touch during the course of the investigation. Later that summer, according to news reports, both Gableman and Spindell attended a “cyber symposium” hosted by election denier and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in South Dakota.
The records also show that in May 2021, Spindell used his non-official email account to communicate with an administrator at the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau, which in 2021 conducted a review of Wisconsin’s election and found no evidence of widespread fraud.
Other records show that in June 2021, Harry Wait — head of the conservative Wisconsin-based group HOT Government and whose brother, Gary Wait, worked for the review in the fall of 2021 — included Spindell on an email urging Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to investigate a Racine city employee. The next month, Wait included Spindell on another email urging Vos “to extend the timeline allotted to Mr. Gableman and provide additional support to him for a real look at the 2020 elections.”
In August 2022, Spindell was the lone commissioner to vote against a proposal to prioritize complaints to the commission regarding Wait, who had fraudulently requested and obtained absentee ballots in the names of Wisconsin politicians in a bid to bolster his claims that committing voter fraud is easily done. Gableman joined Wait’s legal defense team in December 2022.
These new details come as the neighboring state of Michigan moves forward with prosecuting its own fake electors. The 16 individuals who falsely submitted certificates stating Trump won Michigan in the 2020 election each face eight charges including forgery and conspiracy to commit election forgery, the state attorney general announced in July.