Republicans Rubberstamp Expanded Powers for Gableman
(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement regarding the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections’ action to expand the powers of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) investigation led by Michael Gableman:
“Today the State Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections held a hearing on elections administration in which only invited speakers were allowed to testify, followed by a vote to approve a motion that broadly expands the scope and powers of the Office of the Special Counsel led by Michael Gableman to conduct an investigation of the 2020 presidential election.
“The motion contained several provisions: to provide authority to the OSC to assist the committee; authorizing the OSC to compel the production of documents and other evidence through subpoenas; authority to compel witnesses to testify before the committee through subpoenas; to allow the OSC to hear witness testimony outside of public view; to authorize the OSC to record interviews; and to allow witnesses to participate in testimony using audio-visual or other remote communication.
“Before the vote was taken on this motion, questions were raised about the amount of money that the OSC has spent while conducting its investigation, and neither the committee chairwoman nor the committee staff had information about those details. Questions were left unanswered as to whether the OSC still had a current contract with the Assembly Speaker. Yet the Republicans on the committee downplayed those questions in order to rush the debate and vote to authorize these expanded new powers for the OSC.
“Wisconsin taxpayers have already been fleeced for $676,000 by this rogue, secretive and unaccountable Office of Special Counsel. Gableman’s powers must be reined in, and interviews must be conducted in full public view. All findings that are produced by the OSC must be made public by February 28th followed by a legislative audit to examine the use of taxpayer dollars and to make sure that proper procedures were followed.
“Wisconsinites are furious that Wisconsin Republicans have already wasted $676,000 in taxpayer dollars to continue to push The Big Lie that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen, even though it has already been concluded by Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau and by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty that there was no widespread voter fraud.
“This unaccountable and secretive commission was cooked up by GOP Speaker Robin Vos to discredit our democratic election. There is still no end in sight for Gableman’s partisan inquisition into the 2020 Presidential election.”