MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The top Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly, who ordered an investigation into the 2020 presidential election, said Tuesday that more subpoenas may be needed and that the work could stretch into 2022.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos also said it was possible he would try to force the state’s top elections official to submit to an interview with attorney leading the investigation before a judge holds a hearing on the validity of the subpoena. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul sued last week in an attempt to block the subpoena.
A judge on Monday set a Dec. 23 hearing on the matter. Kaul did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Vos, at a news conference ahead of the Assembly session on Tuesday, said that it was “certainly possible if not likely” he would not wait until then to have Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe meet with lead investigator Michael Gableman, a retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice.
Gableman’s contract, which allots $676,000 in taxpayer money for the investigation, runs through the end of December. Vos said it was not his goal to have the probe go past the end of the year, but “it might have to go longer.”
The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau released its much-anticipated review of the election on Friday, making 48 recommendations and possible law changes to improve how elections are run, including adopting rules on whether ballot boxes should be allowed and whether missing information on absentee ballot envelopes should be filled in by election workers.
On Monday, Senate Republican leaders said they were launching their own investigation in response to the audit, even as multiple Republican lawmakers said it showed that elections were safe and secure.
Vos said the audit showed that the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which is overseen by a bipartisan board, is “mismanaged” and needs to be held accountable.
A spokesman for the elections commission did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes, a result that has withstood recounts, court challenges and the audit bureau review which found no widespread fraud. Only four people out of more than 3 million people who cast ballots in Wisconsin have been charged with election fraud.