Wisconsin Republican expands 2020 election investigation
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The highest ranking Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly says he is expanding a probe into the 2020 presidential election, saying it will take more investigators and time than originally planned.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos signed contracts in June with two retired police detectives and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to handle the investigation. But those two investigators quit earlier this month, Vos confirmed for the first time Friday, leading him to “take a different tack.”
Amid growing calls from former President Donald Trump and other Wisconsin Republicans for a broader audit, Vos on Friday said he was expanding the probe. Though he didn’t set a budget, Vos said it would be reasonable to spend several hundred thousand dollars on it.
Vos says he hopes to have the investigation completed this fall, around the same time as an independent review by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau.
Former President Donald Trump has wrongly claimed there was widespread fraud in Wisconsin, a state that President Joe Biden won by just under 21,000 votes.
As of June, two people have been charged with election fraud. Out of more than 3 million ballots cast, just 27 cases were referred by Wisconsin election officials to prosecutors, and district attorneys have said they are not pursuing charges in 18 cases.
Madison…Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released the following statement regarding the independent election investigation led by former Justice Gableman.
“Many questions have been raised about the November election that expose weaknesses and faults in our current election system.
“It has become clear that a top-to-bottom investigation will take longer than initially anticipated and will require more manpower to complete.
“To restore full integrity and trust in elections, we have decided to change direction, giving more authority and independence to Justice Gableman. I am declaring him Special Counsel and am giving him the authority to hire more full-time investigators who will work at his direction.
“After talking with our original investigative team, we realize that the part-time nature of these contracts is less time than is needed to complete the investigation. Justice Gableman will have the resources and ability to determine the need for any future adjustments.
“Through this investigation, we aim to ensure there is confidence that every vote will be counted, and laws concerning future elections will be faithfully and uniformly followed.
“We hope to complete a thorough investigation in the fall and review the findings at the same time we receive findings from the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau, who are currently conducting a statewide, multi-faceted forensic audit.”
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