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'Special counsel' empowered to hire investigators for Wisconsin 2020 election review

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A "special counsel" has been appointed the power to expand a GOP-backed investigation into the 2020 election in Wisconsin.

That's the label Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos gave to former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who was granted the authority to hire full-time investigators for a "top-to-bottom investigation."

Roughly two months ago, Vos hired retired police officers for the task, along with Gableman, to oversee the effort at a tab of $11,000 in taxpayer money each month, but the speaker told the Associated Press on Friday the ex-law enforcement officials quit earlier this month.

“After talking with our original investigative team, we realize that the part-time nature of these contracts is less time than is needed to complete the investigation," the Republican said in a statement. "Justice Gableman will have the resources and ability to determine the need for any future adjustments."

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Gableman, who served on the state's high court for roughly 10 years until 2018, suggested at a rally shortly after the November election the contest was "stolen" from former President Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden defeated Trump by about 20,600 votes in Wisconsin. Gov. Tony Evers certified the results in early December after a canvas and some county recounts.

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal, Pool Photo via AP File)

Trump, who strongly supports the Arizona Senate's Maricopa County audit, lashed out at Vos and other Republican leaders in June, accusing them of standing in the way of a more in-depth look at the election in Wisconsin.

“They are actively trying to prevent a Forensic Audit of the election results, especially those which took place in Milwaukee, one of the most corrupt election locales in the country,” Trump said in a statement.

Vos said his investigation, along with a separate review of the election by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau ordered by the GOP-controlled Legislature, is "something we should all get around." He also predicted that his inquiry, the total cost of which remains to be seen, will end sometime in the fall.

Democrats claim Republicans are on a misguided fishing expedition with their investigations.

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“The fact will remain that the 2020 election was free, fair and conclusive,” Wisconsin Democratic Party executive director Nellie Sires said in a statement. “It’s time for the Speaker to end the charade and start telling the truth.”

Wisconsin election officials found just 27 instances of voter fraud amid 3.3 million ballots cast, a total roughly in line with previous election cycles. Just two people have been charged.

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Tags: News, Wisconsin, Election Fraud, 2020 Elections

Original Author: Daniel Chaitin

Original Location: 'Special counsel' empowered to hire investigators for Wisconsin 2020 election review

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