“Gone rogue.” That was a Wisconsin judge’s assessment of Michael Gableman — the lead investigator conducting the Wisconsin Assembly’s partisan review of the 2020 election — after the Assembly and Speaker Robin Vos once again failed to turn over records from the inquiry to American Oversight.
We were back in court in Wisconsin again this week for hearings in two of our lawsuits seeking the release of public records from the election review, and just like in several previous court appearances, the attorney representing Vos and the Assembly claimed that they were unable to compel Gableman — who works for and under the legal authority of the Assembly — to release documents.
“What you’re telling me is Mr. Vos hired a contractor who should be under his control and direction and he’s just run amok and is flatly refusing to follow any of the court’s guidance or orders that subject Mr. Vos to liability,” said Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn, as quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The hearing also featured several exchanges invoking Batman.
The court has already found Vos and the Assembly in contempt for the failure to comply with previous orders to release records, and on Thursday, the judge gave them “one last crack” at complying with her orders and avoiding fines, setting another hearing in June to review the matter again.
Beyond Wisconsin, the continued false claims that “fraud” somehow marred the 2020 presidential election — despite no evidence of such fraud having yet emerged — are already infecting the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. As the New York Times reported this week after several states held primary contests, election deniers will be on ballots across the country this fall, raising the chance that the “November midterms may well affect the fate of free and fair elections in the country.”
This week marked one year since we were forced to go to court to try to compel the Arizona Senate to comply with the state’s public records laws and release records from the sham “audit” of 2020 ballots cast in Maricopa County.
The partisan election review has been over for more than six months — but the Senate and its lead contractor, Cyber Ninjas, have continued to fight in court to block the public from seeing the full record of what happened, who was involved, and how the inquiry was conducted.
On Thursday, we released a new report that highlights major findings from our investigation of the Arizona Senate’s partisan “audit.” Thousands of pages of documents that have been released in response to our litigation have revealed the politically biased and conspiracy-rooted origins of the “audit,” as we detailed in our first report last September. Since then, we have continued to uncover yet more evidence that this sham “audit” was an anti-democratic tactic to undermine faith in the 2020 election results.
We also obtained another batch of those records this week, shedding more light on the huge sums of money that Cyber Ninjas paid to its subcontractors in the early months of the operation.
Biden administration officials warned this week of surging cases across the country and urged Americans to return to taking personal precautions such as wearing masks. This latest wave comes after the CDC changed its warning levels in February, raising the standards for what are considered “high” levels of community risk and creating the appearance of low transmission nationwide — confusing individuals and causing concern among many public health experts, especially as data on cases is no longer reliable.
Case counts are increasing along with hospitalizations, which are at a daily average of more than 23,000.
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