MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The head of the Wissocnsin Assembly Elections Committee issued subpoenas on Friday demanding complete election materials, including all ballots and voting machines from two counties in what ‘she called a “top-down” investigation into the state of 2020 presidential results.
Republican State Representative Janel Brandtjen sent subpoenas to Milwaukee and Brown counties. She said last month that she wanted to have a review similar to a largely discredited audit carried out in Arizona. Brandtjen and other Republicans from Wisconsin traveled to that state in June to observe the exam.
However, it is not clear whether the Wisconsin exam will take place. Two more inquiries into the election results are already underway and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has signaled he does not support a third inquiry. Lawyers for the Legislative Assembly said in a June memo that only Vos has the authority to issue subpoenas.
Brandtjen did not respond to messages Friday morning seeking comment. She did, however, speak at a noon rally at the State Capitol to celebrate the subpoenas and vowed to end questions about voter fraud.
“We’re finally going to put this to bed,” she said to applause and cheers. She left the rally without speaking to reporters.
Former President Donald Trump pressured Republicans in Wisconsin to take a closer look at the state’s presidential results, which Joe Biden won by around 20,000 votes.
No one has produced evidence of widespread electoral fraud in Wisconsin, and Biden’s victory withstood a partial recount ordered by Trump in Milwaukee and Dane counties, two Democratic strongholds.
Still, Vos hired private investigators to review the results, and the Legislature’s Audit Office launched its own investigation. Vos said last month that he didn’t know what a third review would prove and that he wouldn’t commit to giving Brandtjen additional resources. Vos’s spokesperson did not respond to messages on Friday.
Brandtjen said in a press release that she welcomes both probes. But the people of Wisconsin objected to the audit bureau’s review because it takes too long and wants to give people a “transparent, comprehensive cyber-medical audit,” she said.
Republicans have strongly criticized the Milwaukee and Brown County electoral procedures.
They wondered why Milwaukee officials did not release the results until the early morning hours after election day. They also accused Green Bay mayor Eric Genrich of ceding authority over the election to Facebook-funded consultant Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein., wondering why Genrich gave him the keys to the town’s ballot counting center.
The subpoenas require Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson and Brown County Clerk Patrick Moynihan to appear before the committee on September 7 and bring all the ballots cast in the county presidential elections, including the ballots postal, temporary and physical.
They must also hand over all their tabulation equipment, software, images taken from their electoral management servers, routers and network equipment, all postal voting logs, media used to transfer data such as USB keys and external hard drives, lists of all Internet addresses used at any location where election materials were used, voters’ names and their addresses and dates of birth and dates and times of the materials were certified.
Christenson and Moynihan did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Brown County Deputy Executive Jeff Flynt said the county received the summons and is reviewing it.
Assembly Minority Leader Democratic Representative Gordon Hintz called Brandtjen “an enemy of our democratic system”.
“It is fulfilling at exactly the same rate what these forces requested,” Hintz said. “I’m not surprised that someone pulled on the string of the puppet. It should really be seen as an attack on our country and an attack on our electoral system. “
Nellie Sires, executive director of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, called the subpoenas “absurd and unenforceable.” She said the Republicans were trying to bring “an Arizona-style Cyber Ninja circus” to Wisconsin and Vos had lost control of her caucus.
“The amateur hour theater on display today would be fun if the stakes for our democracy weren’t so high,” Sires said.
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