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    Wisconsin election investigator says he deleted records

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    Wisconsin election investigator says he deleted records

    by Scott Bauer, The Associated Press

    Thursday, June 23rd 2022

    Michael Gableman appears in Dane County Court June 23, 2022. (Image courtesy WisconsinEye)

    MADISON (AP) — Michael Gableman, the former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice hired to investigate President Joe Biden's victory in the battleground state, testified Thursday that he routinely deleted records and deactivated a personal email account, even after receiving open records requests.

    Gableman testified in a court hearing about whether the person who hired him, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, should face penalties after earlier being found in contempt for how he handled the records requests from American Oversight.

    Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn decided against penalizing Vos for contempt, but said she would determine later whether to penalize Vos for how he handled open records requests. She set a hearing for July 28.

    Bailey-Rihn said that Gableman gave often conflicting testimony, but it was clear that he had destroyed records “that were contrary to what fits into the scheme of things.”

    Vos hired Gableman a year ago, under pressure from Donald Trump, to investigate the former president’s loss to Biden by just under 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. The investigation has cost taxpayers about $900,000 so far. Biden’s victory has survived two recounts, multiple lawsuits, a nonpartisan audit and a review by a conservative law firm.

    Gableman has issued two interim reports, but his work has faced a barrage of bipartisan criticism. Vos put his work on hold this spring pending the outcome of lawsuits challenging his ability to subpoena elected officials and others who worked on elections.

    Gableman testified Thursday that he did not keep the notes he took during meetings he attended, including one in August in South Dakota hosted by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell. He also testified that he deleted records if there was no pending open records request and if he determined it was not useful or pertinent to his work.

    “Did I delete documents? Yes, I did,” he said.

    Gableman testified that someone in his office deleted his personal Yahoo email account for him after he had received an open records request from American Oversight. Gableman had used that account last summer before he had an official state email address.

    The judge asked Gableman if he had searched the account for responsive records before deleting it and he said, “I believe so.”

    “Do I specifically recall going back? I don’t,” Gableman said. “But I would have looked at every email account available to me.”

    Gableman also revealed that he had to go to the emergency room for COVID-19 after attending an election conference hosted by Lindell in August.

    “I went out there because I thought there was going to be some solid evidence of Chinese interference of the [voting] machines, and I was very disappointed with the lack of substance to back up those claims,” Gableman said. “And I was annoyed that I had gone out, and, as it turns out, I had COVID. Anyway, I didn’t find anything I could use during that seminar.”

    Gableman, under questioning for the judge, also said his research included getting up to speed on how elections work because “I did not have a very sophisticated or intricate understanding."

    Gableman, who smiled when taking the stand, calmly answered questions for more than 90 minutes from the judge and American Oversight attorney Christa Westerberg. He had made sarcastic remarks about Westerberg two weeks ago when he testified in another case in which he was the defendant.

    Gableman refused to answer questions at that hearing, and in a scathing order last week, Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington accused Gableman of unprofessional and misogynistic conduct. The judge fined him $2,000 per day until he complied with the open records requests and referred the case to the office that regulates attorneys in the state for possible further disciplinary action.

    Gableman has appealed that ruling.

    Vos and the Assembly have argued that they were not responsible for the records held by Gableman’s office. However, Bailey-Rihn disagreed. She found Vos in contempt in March for not following the records law but held off on imposing any penalties, giving him time to take steps to comply with the law.

    Bailey-Rihn has previously said that Gableman had “gone rogue” and “run amok” in refusing to comply with the state's open records law.

    The case is one of three open records lawsuits brought by the liberal watchdog group American Oversight. All of them seek records related to the investigation into the 2020 election that Gableman led.

    Source : fox11online.com

    Wisconsin election investigator says he deleted records

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice hired to investigate President Joe Biden's victory in the battleground state testified Thursday that he routinely deleted records, and deactivated a personal email account, even after receiving open records requests.

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    Wisconsin election investigator says he deleted records

    By SCOTT BAUER yesterday

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice hired to investigate President Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state testified Thursday that he routinely deleted records, and deactivated a personal email account, even after receiving open records requests.

    Michael Gableman testified in a court hearing about whether the person who hired him, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, should face penalties after earlier being found in contempt for how he handled the records requests from American Oversight.

    Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn decided against penalizing Vos for contempt, but said she would determine later whether to penalize Vos for how he handled open records requests. She set a hearing for July 28.

    Bailey-Rihn said that Gableman gave testimony that conflicted at times, but it was clear that he had destroyed records “that were contrary to what fits into the scheme of things.”

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    Vos hired Gableman a year ago under pressure from Donald Trump to investigate the former president’s loss to Biden by just under 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. The investigation has cost taxpayers about $900,000 so far. Biden’s victory has survived two recounts, multiple lawsuits, a nonpartisan audit and a review by a conservative law firm.

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    Gableman has issued two interim reports, but his work has faced a barrage of bipartisan criticism. Vos put his work on hold this spring pending the outcome of lawsuits challenging his ability to subpoena elected officials and others who worked on elections.

    Gableman testified Thursday that he did early work on the investigation at a Milwaukee-area library and used his personal email account. Gableman said he did not retain the notes he took during meetings he attended, including one in August in South Dakota hosted by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell. He also testified that he deleted records if there was no pending open records request and he determined it was not useful or pertinent to his work.

    “Did I delete documents? Yes, I did,” he said.

    Gableman testified that someone in his office deleted his personal Yahoo email account for him after he had received an open records request from American Oversight. Gableman had used that account last summer before he had an official state email address.

    The judge asked Gableman if he had searched the account for responsive records before deleting it and he said, “I believe so.”

    “Do I specifically recall going back, I don’t,” Gableman said. “But I would have looked at every email account available to me.”

    Gableman also revealed that he had to go to the emergency room for COVID-19 after attending an election conference hosted by Lindell in South Dakota in August.

    “I went out there because I thought there was going to be some solid evidence of Chinese interference of the (voting) machines and I was very disappointed with the lack of substance to back up those claims,” Gableman said. “And I was annoyed that I had gone out and as it turns out I had COVID. Anyway, I didn’t find anything I could use during that seminar.”

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Gableman, under questioning for the judge, also said his research included getting up to speed on how elections work because “I did not have a very sophisticated or intricate understanding.”

    Gableman, who smiled when taking the stand, calmly answered questions for more than 90 minutes from the judge and American Oversight attorney Christa Westerberg. He had made sarcastic remarks about Westerberg two weeks ago when he testified in another case where he was the defendant.

    Gableman refused to answer questions at that hearing, and in a scathing order last week Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington accused Gableman of unprofessional and misogynistic conduct. The judge fined him $2,000 a day until he complied with the open records requests, and referred the case to the office that regulates attorneys in the state for possible further disciplinary action.

    Gableman has appealed that ruling.

    Vos and the Assembly have argued that they were not responsible for the records held by Gableman’s office. But Bailey-Rihn disagreed. She found Vos in contempt in March for not following the records law but determined Thursday that he had taken steps to purge the contempt order. The judge left open the question of whether he will face penalties under the open records law.

    The case is one of three open records lawsuits brought by the liberal watchdog group American Oversight. All of them seek records related to the investigation into the 2020 election that Gableman led.

    Source : apnews.com

    Wisconsin election investigator routinely deleted records, email account

    Plus: Sen. Tina Smith introduces an access to abortion pills bill; Roseville Police Department conducting a gun turn-in event; Rachel Evangelisto is the first Indigenous woman to be crowned Miss Minnesota; and more.

    News The Glean

    Wisconsin election investigator routinely deleted records, email account

    Plus: Sen. Tina Smith introduces an access to abortion pills bill; Roseville Police Department conducting a gun turn-in event; Rachel Evangelisto is the first Indigenous woman to be crowned Miss Minnesota; and more.

    By MinnPost staff

    Former President Donald TrumpREUTERS/Octavio Jones

    June 23, 2022

    Welcome to the Glean, MinnPost’s twice-daily roundup of Minnesota news.

    The Associated Press is reporting former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman, hired to investigate President Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, testified that he routinely deleted records, and deactivated a personal email account, even after receiving open records requests. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman a year ago, under pressure from Donald Trump, to investigate the former president’s loss to Biden by just under 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. The investigation has cost taxpayers about $900,000 so far.

    Ali Vitali at NBC News reports Sen. Tina Smith will introduce a new bill Thursday that aims to shore up access to abortion pills in states that have not yet restricted access, focusing on codifying current regulatory and usage language around the drugs at a time when many reproductive rights advocates believe they are the next to face restrictions across the country.

    Joe Nelson at Bring Me the News has the story of a routine traffic stop in Hopkins that wound up catching an accused killer.

    Nick Longworth at FOX 9 writes that the Roseville Police Department is hosting a safe and secure way to turn in any unwanted firearms and ammunition for destruction with no questions asked today. From 3-7 p.m. the Roseville Police Department is hosting a gun turn-in event at 2660 Civic Center Drive.

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    Belle, a 4-year-old English setter from Pine Island, was named the winner in the sporting group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, via WCCO.

    Hana Ikramuddin at the Star Tribune has a feature on Rachel Evangelisto, the first Indigenous woman to be crowned Miss Minnesota and is set to compete for Miss America in December.

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    Source : www.minnpost.com

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