As part of their extensive review of the 2020 presidential election, Assembly Republicans sought to imprison the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Racine’s mayor, and other officials on Friday.
The court filing influenced Michael J. Gableman, a lawyer and former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. Three days ago, he withdrew subpoenas issued to the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera.
A month ago, an attorney for Gableman told a judge that he hoped to avoid jailing the mayors of Green Bay and Madison. Gableman stepped up his efforts on Friday, telling Waukesha County Circuit Judge Ralph Ramirez that if those mayors and others do not sit for interviews with him behind closed doors, he will incarcerate them. Officials have stated that they are willing to speak with Gableman, but they argue that the interviews should take place in front of a legislative committee, as reported.
In Wisconsin, Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by nearly 21,000 votes. Recounts and court decisions confirmed Biden’s victory. A legislative audit and a conservative group’s study found no evidence of fraud. Republican lawmakers have stated that they initiated the investigation because they still have concerns about the election.
Gableman’s most recent filing targeted Satya Rhodes-Conway, the mayor of Madison, Ann Jacobs, the Democratic chairwoman of the bipartisan Elections Commission, Cory Mason, the mayor of Racine, Eric Genrich, the mayor of Green Bay, and a number of clerks, workers and information technology employees.
In a statement, Rhodes-Conway said Gableman’s review had “gone off the rails” because he had expanded his efforts to jail officials after initially claiming he was trying to avoid doing so. Gableman filed his lawsuit in November, and it was amended on Friday. Ramirez has scheduled a hearing for April to determine the extent of Gableman’s powers.