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Former 2020 election investigator Michael Gableman hints at revolution in speech to Outagamie County Republicans

Gableman says Americans' comfort is 'keeping us from what our founders knew to be the only way to keep an honest government'

Michael Gableman stands at a podium and points around the room as he speaks. Attendees are seated behind him.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman speaks Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Michael Gableman, who was fired from his 2020 election review office by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, appeared to tell Republicans in Outagamie County earlier this month that revolution is necessary to “keep an honest government.”

At the Republican Party of Outagamie County’s Constitution Day Dinner Sept. 9, Gableman told attendees, “I am beginning to wonder if America’s best days are behind us.”

He went on to say that America’s Founding Fathers created a “beautiful paradise” that has made life comfortable.

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“But it’s that very comfort that is keeping us from what our founders knew to be the only way to keep an honest government, which is revolution,” said Gableman.

Gableman then paraphrased a 1787 letter sent written by Thomas Jefferson and said, “The tree of liberty must be watered by the blood of revolution every generation.”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Gableman. “And, our president has gone out of his way to say, ‘Don’t even think about a revolution, we’ve got F-14s.’ Who talks like that?”

Audio of Gableman’s speech was recorded and posted online by liberal activist Lauren Windsor.

State Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, is a member of the Assembly’s Committee on Campaigns and Elections. He told WPR Gableman’s comments about revolution are “violent rhetoric.”

“I don’t know if Mike Gableman is serious in thinking that we should violently overthrow the government, but that kind of rhetoric is truly wrong,” said Spreitzer.

Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, was fired in August from his role as special counsel charged with investigating the 2020 presidential election, by Vos.

Vos initially hired Gableman to review the election in June 2021 following intense pressure from former Republican President Donald Trump, who has repeated false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Vos fired Gableman only after the former justice and Trump endorsed Vos’ primary opponent last month. After winning re-election, Vos called Gableman “an embarrassment to the state.”

Gableman released an “interim” report in March, which alleged the Wisconsin Elections Commission issued unlawful guidance in 2020 and suggested the state Legislature consider decertifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s victory. Election law experts say that is impossible. Gableman’s report produced no evidence of widespread election fraud two years ago.

On Monday, Gableman appeared in a Racine County courtroom beside Harry Wait, who has been charged with multiple felonies for requesting absentee ballots in the name of Speaker Vos and Racine Mayor Cory Mason without their permission. Gableman told reporters he was representing Wait “just for today.”

In July, Wait admitted to breaking the law in an effort to “expose the vulnerabilities of the WEC (Wisconsin Elections Commission) system.”

Wait’s preliminary hearing is scheduled on Oct. 7.