Gableman's attorney: Decertifying the 2020 election is 'pointless,' group claims evidence of ballot harvesting

Gableman’s attorney: Decertifying the 2020 election is ’pointless,’ group claims evidence of ballot harvesting

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A conservative attorney involved in Wisconsin's ongoing election investigation urged lawmakers to stop calling to decertify the 2020 election, saying it's "pointless."

Attorney James Bopp, who represents Michael Gableman in lawsuits challenging aspects of his review of the 2020 election, told lawmakers there's no pathway to overturning Joe Biden's victory.

"There are no electors to decertify," Bopp said to lawmakers on the Assembly Elections Committee. "It serves zero legal purpose, and in my opinion, useful purpose, to be talking about doing something like decertification, that is pointless."

Bopp's comments come three weeks after Gableman testified to lawmakers at the same committee suggesting decertification is possible.

Talks of rescinding Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes from Joe Biden have been up for debate at the Capitol for months despite nonpartisan attorneys, a conservative law firm and GOP leaders saying it's legally impossible.

“The only way to remove President Biden is by his death, resignation, impeachment or disability under the 25th Amendment,” Bopp said.

The window of opportunity to decertify is no longer on the table because the electoral votes were already counted, Bopp said.

"If you felt the election was so corrupt…you could have intervened. It's over then -- you can't go back," said Bopp.

State Rep. Timothy Ramthun, a Republican centering his campaign for governor around decertification, shook his head in disagreement during Bopp's testimony.

Democrats on the committee said they were glad to hear Bopp rejecting calls for decertification, but wished more Republicans would.

"I think the folks today acknowledged it can't be overturned, but it's unfortunate others in the Legislature won't make that same acknowledgment," State Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) said.

"These hearings have been used to give the perception that there is a reason to not be confident in our election results, when in reality our elections are safe and secure,” said Subeck.

True the Vote Alleges Ballot Stuffing

The committee also heard testimony from the group True the Vote, who for months has claimed evidence of "ballot harvesting," a term often used to refer to groups who collect and return absentee ballots on behalf of voters.

The right-wing group claimed that purchased cellphone data identified hundreds of phones making the same trip to absentee ballot drop boxes.

State election officials said True the Vote data allegedly showing cellphones tracked multiple times near a drop box alone "is not evidence of a crime."

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said in a statement many drop boxes used during the 2020 election "may have been located in central locations – such as a city hall – frequented by the public, or near apartments, restaurants, or other establishments."

Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote, dodged questions about why they didn't present their evidence to law enforcement. Engelbrecht's group said they have video evidence, but did not provide any videos or any additional data to support their claims.

The group has made similar allegations in Georgia, but the state's Bureau of Investigation said their claims lacked evidence to launch an investigation.

Groups have asked for clarity on ballot harvesting and drop boxes for years, which is not clearly stated in state law.

A Waukesha County judge ruled in January to prohibit drop boxes for April's election and that no one other than the voter may return such a ballot. The State Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments regarding the use of drop boxes on April 13.

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