Madison officials subpoenaed in election investigation

The former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Republicans hired to investigate the 2020 presidential election wants a pair of Madison city officials to turn over documents and submit to questioning.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway on Monday released subpoenas that Michael Gableman issued Dec. 28 to the city's information officer, Sarah Edgerton, and finance director, David Schmiedicke, whom the subpoena erroneously refers to by the first name "Dan."

The subpoenas demand that Edgerton turn over city election communications and records at Gableman's Brookfield office on Jan. 13 and Jan. 19. She also must submit to questioning at the office on Feb. 14.

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The subpoenas also demand that Schmiedicke turn over election records detailing private grants the city used to help run the election on Jan. 19 at the Brookfield office.

Rhodes-Conway issued a statement Monday calling Gableman’s investigation a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. The mayor did not say whether Edgerton and Schmedicke would comply with the subpoenas, however. Asked whether they would comply, Deputy Mayor Katie Crawley, who handles media inquires for Rhodes-Conway’s administration, said only that the city's attorney was reviewing the subpoenas.

Madison skyline

Part of Gableman's investigation is focused on whether Madison and other Democratic-leaning cities in Wisconsin improperly accepted nearly $9 million from the Facebook-funded Center for Tech and Civil Life to help administer the election. The former justice has subpoenaed the mayors of the state’s five largest cities as well as Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe to submit to questioning in Brookfield.

So far no one has complied with the demand. Gableman has filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County seeking to force Rhodes-Conway and Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich to appear or put them in jail. That case is still pending.

The state Department of Justice, led by Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul, has filed a lawsuit seeking to quash the Wolfe subpoena.

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Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman last summer to review the election after former President Donald Trump said Wisconsin Republicans weren't doing enough to investigate his allegations that President Joe Biden somehow stole Wisconsin from him. The review is expected to cost taxpayers at least $686,000.

An Associated Press review of presidential results in six key battleground states, including Wisconsin, found fewer than 475 cases of potential fraud, a number that would have made no difference in the election's outcome.

Election officials have referred 31 cases of potential fraud to Wisconsin prosecutors in 12 of the state's 72 counties, representing about 0.15% of Biden's margin of victory in the state, the AP review found. State auditors also found no evidence of widespread fraud in the election.


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