Wisconsin election investigation: Voces de la Frontera subpoena pulled
MADISON, Wis. - The Republican-hired attorney leading an investigation into Wisconsin's 2020 presidential election has withdrawn a subpoena he issued to an immigrants rights group not involved with administering elections in the battleground state.
Voces de la Frontera Action on Wednesday released the letter it received from an attorney representing Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, announcing that the subpoena sent in December was "moot."
"We will take no action to compel or enforce those subpoenas for documents or in person testimony," attorney Clinton Lancaster wrote. "We do not intend to issue any further subpoenas to these organizations or people at this time."
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Earlier this month, a judge allowed Voces de la Frontera Action to join a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Josh Kaul challenging the legality of subpoenas sent to the state elections commission. The judge set March 17 for oral arguments in that case.
Lancaster said in response to an email asking why the subpoena was rescinded that he was not authorized to comment. Gableman has not returned a message. Gableman was hired by Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to conduct the probe using $676,000 in taxpayer money.
Vos ordered the investigation under pressure from former President Donald Trump and his supporters who have falsely claimed there was widespread election fraud in the state. President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes, an outcome that has withstood numerous lawsuits, recounts a nonpartisan audit and a review by a conservative group.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of the immigrant rights group, called the move to rescind the subpoenas an "unconditional surrender."
"The subpoenas were part of Vos’ sham review that has been marked by lies, incompetence, buffoonery, and secrecy," she said. "We demand that Assembly Speaker Vos put this wasteful, partisan review to an end."
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Vos did not immediately return a message seeking comment
Gableman has also subpoenaed the mayors of Wisconsin’s five largest cities, Gov. Tony Evers’ administration as well as voting machine companies Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems.
The Voces de la Frontera subpoena sought emails and other communications related to the 2020 election, as well as information about the group’s finances and contacts with government officials and other nonprofits.
Voces de la Frontera holds a voter registration block party on Milwaukee's south side (October 2020)
The mayors of Madison and Green Bay are also fighting subpoenas issued to them in a separate lawsuit. Gableman also subpoenaed the mayors of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha.
A Waukesha County judge was expected to rule in April in the case brought by the Madison and Green Bay mayors contesting the subpoenas.
Attorneys for Nebraska-based ES&S sent Gableman a letter last month saying it would not comply with his subpoena.
There are also three pending lawsuits filed by the liberal watchdog group American Oversight alleging that Gableman and Vos have not turned over documents as required under Wisconsin’s open records law.