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Gableman to deliver final report, address lawmakers in election investigation

Special counsel hired by Assembly Republicans has subpoenaed everyone from voting machine companies to Wisconsin mayors

voting stickers
A roll of “I Voted!” stickers are shown, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral, Fla. Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

The special counsel hired by Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly to investigate the 2020 election is tentatively scheduled to deliver his final report Tuesday.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman is scheduled to speak to the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections Tuesday. His office told the Associated Press he would release his final report Tuesday morning.

Gableman will be joined at the meeting by Erick Kaardal, a Republican lawyer who has filed lawsuits in Wisconsin and other swing states seeking to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.

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Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, announced he was hiring Gableman at the state Republican Party Convention last year amid criticism from former President Donald Trump and other Republican activists. Gableman’s contract with the Assembly set aside up to $676,000 to pay for the special counsel’s investigation.

The Assembly granted Gableman subpoena power, which he has used widely. Vos has said Gableman issued more than 100 subpoenas, a list that includes voting machine companies, officials from the Wisconsin Elections Commission and clerks and mayors from a handful of Wisconsin cities.

Several of those who’ve been subpoenaed have challenged Gableman’s authority in court, including in a lawsuit being handled by Attorney General Josh Kaul. Gableman has filed his own lawsuit asking a judge to jail the mayors of Madison and Green Bay among others if they don’t comply with his subpoenas.

The liberal watchdog group American Oversight has also filed multiple open records lawsuits against Gableman and Vos, seeking emails and other communications related to the case.

Those court cases are likely to continue well after Gableman delivers his final report. For example, in the case where he’s threatening Wisconsin mayors with jail time, the judge scheduled a hearing for April 22.

When the Gableman probe was initially launched, Republicans said it would help them draft legislation related to the election, but Vos has since said that the full Assembly is unlikely to return to the Capitol until 2023.