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Vos wants election investigation done by end of January



FILE - Robin Vos (left) meeting with former President Donald Trump on a private plane headed to an Alabama rally on Aug. 22, 2021. (PHOTO: @RepVos on Facebook)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos wants the investigation he ordered into the 2020 election to conclude by the end of the month, even as legal fights over subpoenas issued to mayors and the state’s top elections official remain unresolved.

Vos’ spokeswoman, Angela Joyce, said late last week that Vos has asked lead investigator Michael Gableman for recommendations by February “so we can have legislation passed by the end of this session.” The session is scheduled to end in March.

A spokesman for Gableman did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Vos and Gableman had agreed to verbally extend Gableman’s contract that ended on Dec. 31. Joyce told The Associated Press that nothing had been “formally written,” but Vos had asked for the recommendations.

The original contract called for paying Gableman and his team $676,000 in taxpayer funds to complete the investigation. Vos had said it might take more money to finish it, but he did not respond to messages Thursday about whether Gableman will be paid more.

Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit seeking to block subpoenas Gableman issued to Wisconsin Elections Commissioner administrator Meagan Wolfe. A judge said a ruling on that would come by Monday.

Meanwhile, Gableman filed a lawsuit seeking to compel the mayors of Madison and Green Bay to sit for closed-door interviews or be jailed for noncompliance. Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich filed a complaint asking the judge to sanction Gableman for alleged misstatements about the mayor’s response to the subpoena.

A hearing on that case is set for Jan. 21.

Vos and his office’s attorney are scheduled to sit for depositions on Wednesday in yet another lawsuit filed by the liberal watchdog group American Oversight related to its numerous open records requests. Vos has turned over some of the requested documents related to the election probe, but a judge this week said attorneys could ask Vos for details about what he searched for and whether all documents requested were provided.

Another hearing in that case is set for Jan. 24.

The Wisconsin investigation comes as part of a broader Republican push nationwide to exert greater control over elections before the 2024 presidential contest.

President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes, an outcome that has withstood recounts and numerous lawsuits. An Associated Press review of votes cast in battleground states contested by Trump, including Wisconsin, found too few cases of fraud to affect the outcome. Some of those cases involved registered Republicans and people who said they supported Trump.

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