'Broad and bizarre': State elections chair, other officials slam Gableman's latest subpoenas

’Broad and bizarre’: State elections chair, other officials slam Gableman’s latest subpoenas

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission and some city officials are firing back at the latest subpoenas they received seeking numerous documents related to the 2020 election.

The subpoenas were recently served to the state Elections Commission and some municipal IT departments by Michael Gableman, a retired Supreme Court justice hired by Assembly Republicans to review the 2020 election.

The latest request from Gableman seeks interviews in private and documents such as emails, information about voting machines and records related to specific voters.

Ann Jacobs, the Democratic chair of WEC, called Gableman's subpoena issued to WEC overly broad since it requests thousands, potentially millions, of documents of "any and all communication" with election officials dating back to January 2020.

"It's so broad and it's bizarre," said Jacobs. "It's as if they have no idea how to craft a subpoena to actually look for anything. I'm just perplexed by it."

Jacobs suggested she won't comply with Gableman's request because of pending litigation. A Dane County judge is expected to make a ruling by Jan. 10 whether or not previous subpoenas Gableman issued to WEC administrator Meagan Wolfe are valid.

The latest move by Gableman suggests his months-long review doesn't plan to slow down anytime soon, despite recounts and court rulings confirming Joe Biden narrowly won by about 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. Nonpartisan reviews have also found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Jacobs believes Gableman's latest subpoenas are a tactic to prolong the investigation.

"It feels like they are trying to create an excuse for it to go on forever, it's not a subpoena designed to get any particular information," Jacobs said.

Municipal IT Departments Subpoenaed

City officials in Madison and Green Bay's IT departments were also served by Gableman on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

It requests voting machine serial numbers, information related to software updates on computers and any communication with Dominion Voting Systems, but both cities currently do not use Dominion.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway slammed the subpoena in a statement, saying "Attorney Gableman and his team are yet again demonstrating that they have learned nothing about election administration in Wisconsin."

She added, "their “investigation” is a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.

In November, Gableman asked a judge to throw the mayors of Madison and Green Bay in jail if they don't meet with him for interviews. The mayors argue they've cooperated with most of Gableman's requests, but refuse to meet behind closed doors for his investigation.

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said he believes the city will soon receive a similar subpoena requesting election records from the city treasurer and its IT department.

As of Monday evening, officials could not confirm if the subpoenas were delivered,  noting city hall has been temporarily closed.

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