Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Micheal Gableman wants to jail Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and nine other Wisconsin officials regarding the 2020 presidential election results.
Gableman previously sought to jail the mayor for refusing to answer questions in his private offices in Brookfield, but later changed his mind, according to the Cap Times. Gableman decided again Feb. 18 to call for officials to attend a round of interviews and depositions or “be incarcerated if they refuse to comply.”
Gableman called for Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, City Clerks Maribeth Witzel-Behl and Celestine Jeffreys, Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairwoman Ann Jacobs, Racine Mayor Cory Mason, WEC staffer Sara Linski, state Department of Enterprise Technology Director Trina Zanow and city of Milwaukee employees David Henke and Hannah Bubacz to be interviewed, according to the Cap Times.
According to Mayor Rhodes-Conway, the mayor’s office has turned over every document Gableman requested and Gableman’s lawyers wrote a letter Jan. 21 saying they are no longer interested in jailing the two Mayors.
“Gableman says one thing one day, and another the next,” Rhodes-Conway said. “The City has turned over every document requested. Now he seems to have changed his mind, likely due to the shifts in the political landscape.”
There has been no evidence of widespread election fraud in Wisconsin in 2020, as multiple recounts, lawsuits, investigations and audits affirmed that Joe Biden won the presidential election in the state with a margin of over 20,000 votes, according to the Wisconsin Examiner.
According to Taylor-Bascom Chair in Science Communication Dietram Scheufele, this is part of a larger development that is visible throughout the Republican party in different parts of the country. Schuefele said after the 2020 presidential election, some of the Republicans went along reluctantly and some of them went along very excitedly.
“Now it is turning into these more bizarre displays of politics that I think even the majority of the Republican Party is deeply uncomfortable with as we’re going into the midterm year,” said Scheufele. “The Madison mayor just happens to be the target because she happens to be a mayor of a municipality that tries to accommodate as many voters as possible under really bizarre circumstances.”
In November 2021, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau released an audit regarding the Wisconsin 2020 presidential election. While it found inconsistencies regarding the administration of the 2020 election, there was no evidence of fraud. This audit was focused on the first of two investigative reports that were requested by Republican lawmakers.
American Oversight, a government watchdog group, filed an open records request regarding Gableman’s review, according to the Wisconsin Examiner. Gableman, however, has prevented the release of his documents.
According to Rhodes-Conway, continued fear-mongering about election security harms our state and our democracy.
“It harms our election clerks who did a heroic job during the pandemic, but now get death threats and all sorts of inappropriate condemnation.” Rhodes-Conway said. “Only Donald Trump continues to beat this drum, purely for political reasons, and his uninformed allies are all too willing enablers.”