Aug 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin 2020 election probe in limbo after lead investigator fired

Election workers and official observers work to perform a recount of Milwaukee Countys results at the Wisconsin Center.

Wisconsin lection workers work to perform a recount. Photo: Taylor Glascock for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos fired Wisconsin's lead 2020 election investigator on Friday, potentially ending the investigation, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Vos' decision comes days after former President Trump — who pressured Vos to overturn Wisconsin's 2020 election results — endorsed the Wisconsin assembly speaker's recent primary challenger. Vos still won the primary.

  • The move likely ends Wisconsin's 14-month inquiry into 2020 election results, all of which were funded by taxpayers.

State of play: Vos fired conservative investigator Michael Gableman, who was hand-picked by Vos to lead the investigation, AP reports.

  • Though Vos hand-picked Gableman for the inquiry, the relationship between them fell apart over the last year.
  • Gableman, like Trump, called for lawmakers to consider decertifying the election results.

Yes, but: A nonpartisan audit of the state's 2020 presidential race results didn't find any evidence of widespread voter fraud, explaining that the state's election was "largely safe and secure."

What he said: “After having many members of our caucus reach out to me over the past several days, it is beyond clear to me that we only have one choice in this matter, and that’s to close the Office of Special Counsel,” Vos said Friday in a statement to the AP.

  • He also called Gableman an “embarrassment" Tuesday night, per AP.
  • Vos' office did not immediately return Axios' request for comment

The big picture: Trump has been criticizing Vos in recent weeks and even supported Vos' recent primary challenger, Adam Steen, Axios previously reported. Vox still walked away victorious.

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