Internal Memo Obtained by American Oversight Reveals that Michael Gableman Privately Opposed ‘Decertifying’ Wisconsin’s 2020 Election

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported on a memo obtained by American Oversight in which Michael Gableman, the attorney heading the Wisconsin Assembly’s probe of the 2020 election, concluded that decertifying the state’s 2020 election results — something he had publicly called for just two weeks before — was “a practical impossibility.” 

The memo was sent to the office of Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on March 16. Earlier that month, Gableman had presented his office’s “second interim report,” in which he stated, “It is clear that the Wisconsin Legislature could lawfully take steps to decertify electors in any Presidential election.” He also appeared before the Assembly’s elections committee, telling lawmakers that they should consider decertification — a measure that has no legal basis and is not supported by any evidence of widespread fraud.

The memo was sent the same day Vos met with pro-decertification activists — including Trump-allied lawyer John Eastman, whose efforts to help former President Trump overturn the 2020 election are a major focus of federal investigations of Jan. 6. 

In the memo, which was released in response to a public records request filed by American Oversight in May, Gableman wrote that “decertification of the 2020 presidential election is theoretically possible,” but that the process “is unprecedented and raises numerous substantial constitutional issues that would be difficult to resolve. Thus, the legal obstacles to its accomplishment render such an outcome a practical impossibility.” Gableman added that such a process would likely not be completed before the 2024 presidential election, when “the question becomes practically irrelevant,” and reiterated his previous recommendations for altering the election process in Wisconsin.

Nonpartisan lawyers for the Legislature have previously determined that election decertification is legally impossible, and Vos has maintained his position that decertification is not on the table. But calls by the former president and his supporters — including some state lawmakers — to overturn the results have stayed alive following a recent ruling by the state supreme court banning the use of ballot drop boxes in future elections.