On Wednesday, a Wisconsin judge ordered the State Assembly, Speaker Robin Vos, and Assembly Clerk Edward Blazel not to delete records from the early stages of the Assembly’s election review, specifically the records of contractors, including Michael Gableman.
In court filings and during Wednesday’s hearing, Vos and the Assembly argued that they could not be responsible for records held by contractors involved in the ongoing investigation of the 2020 election in Wisconsin. The judge rejected that claim.
“I’m frankly amazed that I have to say don’t destroy records that are subject to an open records request or order that to occur,” said Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn, as quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think all of us know what the law is.”
The ruling is the most recent in a lawsuit that American Oversight filed in October seeking contractor records related to the investigation from its early months, before the Assembly’s Office of Special Counsel (OSC) was created in late August.
Last summer, Vos hired former Supreme Court Judge Michael Gableman, as well as other investigators, to review Wisconsin’s 2020 election. In August, Vos expanded the probe and named Gableman as special counsel.
Last month, in a separate lawsuit brought by American Oversight for records related to the investigation that are held by OSC, another Wisconsin judge ordered the office not to delete or destroy records that could be responsive to public records requests filed by American Oversight.
More information on American Oversight’s investigation of the Assembly’s partisan election review — including our ongoing litigation and the documents we have uncovered — is available here.
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