The attorney leading a Wisconsin Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 presidential election has decided to back off the effort, canceling interviews and subpoenas he issued to mayors and clerks of the state's five biggest cities.
On Tuesday, retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice and current attorney Michael Gableman told the Green Bay Common Council about his plans to issue a subpoena to that city’s mayor and four other Democratic-leaning cities, including Milwaukee's. That came days after he demanded records from clerks in the same cities and the state’s top elections official.
Madison City Attorney Michael Haas confirmed that Gableman's team may request more documents or interviews later, but that they are limiting the requests for now. Haas told the Associated Press that he got a call from a person working with former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman saying the interviews were off for all five cities.
Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer said that the city will comply with Gableman's requests for elections-related documents, but called the request broad. Spencer and Mayor Tom Barrett indicated that the request needs to be narrowed down. "The city attorney's office has reached out to the special counsel for clarification in hopes to clarify certain of these requests," Spencer said during a press briefing.
Gableman also said on Tuesday he does not know if he can complete his investigation by the end of October, as Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he expected it to be done.
President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by about 0.6 percent or about 20,000 votes. Vos has nevertheless called an investigation into the election, hiring Gableman to lead the effort. Gableman was given about $680,000 in taxpayer money to conduct the probe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.