Heated exchanges during election committee, Gableman reveals staffers working on election investigation

NOW: Heated exchanges during election committee, Gableman reveals staffers working on election investigation

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) --Tensions ran high during the Assembly's election committee after Michael Gableman revealed the identity of those helping him with his election investigation. Some include conspiracy theorists and others have ties to former President Donald Trump.

It was the second time Michael Gableman, former Supreme Court justice hired by Republicans to review the 2020 election, testified to lawmakers on the Assembly election committee.

For the first time, Gableman disclosed nearly everyone working for him, besides one person, and their salaries. Gableman, who's being paid nearly $670,000 in taxpayer money, has kept many details of his review private until Wednesday, Dec. 1.

One of those includes Rob Heuer, president of the Wisconsin Voters Alliance and chair of the Kewaunee County Republican Party. The organization attempted and failed in court to overturn the presidential election.

The Voters Alliance filed three lawsuits. One effort attempted to block private grants funded to municipalities to help run elections during the pandemic, another sought to throw out the election result and force the Legislature to certify the presidential election instead.

Democrat Rep. Mark Spreitzer said Heuer's background is evidence that Gableman's review is partisan.

"It seems that you are firmly in the lane that the outcome of the election should have been overturned," Spreitzer said to Gableman.

Those comments resulted in a shouting match between Gableman and Spreitzer.

"Stop! I never said anything about overturning any election, stop making things up," Gableman said. "Shame on you!"

Spreitzerresponded, "Shame on you, why have you hired Mr. Heuer who tried to overturn the will of the people in Wisconsin?"

Another individual identified by Gableman is Gary Wait, former private investigator who's been working with Peter Bernegger to collect copies of ballots and other election documents to review, according to Journal Sentinel. Bernegger has previously been convicted of mail and bank fraud in 2009.

Gableman did not release the name of a staffer he called a data expert. He said he will keep their name classified "at this time to protect his best interests with a small-time employer."

Election Grants

Gableman told lawmakers on the committee that since he's being more transparent about this investigation, election officials should start cooperating with him.

"Right now, what is preventing the finished work product is the fearful running and hiding of those government officials who do not want to be held accountable," said Gableman.

Gableman continues to focus his review on how the state's five largest cities, including Milwaukee, used grants funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to help them run elections.

A federal judge has already tossed out a lawsuit challenging the grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, but Republicans argue they largely benefited Democratic cities, claiming it boosted voter turnout.

Gableman Attempts to Target Madison, Green Bay

The retired justice also said he filed lawsuits against Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway in an attempt to force them to meet with him.

As of Wednesday evening, no court records showed the lawsuits online.

Some election officials have refused to meet with Gableman in private after he issued subpoenas seeking to conduct interviews at an office suite in Brookfield.

Gableman has run into roadblocks because Attorney General Josh Kaul sued to block some of the subpoenas, preventing those meetings from happening.

"Interview witnesses in public, that's crazy, nobody does that as part of any investigation," Gableman said. "If you do, that you could potentially compromise safety and security of witnesses [and] you certainly compromise the integrity of the investigation."

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