Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank D. Remington issued a 90-page opinion on Wednesday attacking the Wisconsin state legislature calling them liars.
Michael Gableman, who previously served on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, was hired by Republicans (at taxpayer expense) to help investigate "2020 election fraud." The GOP goal was to prove that Joe Biden somehow "stole" the election from Trump.
The lawsuit is about a records request from American Oversight, a state-level government watchdog group. They are looking into Gableman's investigation and requested documents. Already they've filed several lawsuits trying to get the information about the research that Gableman did and what he did with the taxpayer dollars he was paid. Ultimately, Remington agreed that the documents should be released and Gableman was fined $2,000 a day until he turned them over.
Gableman submitted an affidavit on June 28 saying that he did a search, which Remington ultimately said he believed the former Supreme Court Justice, but he was still ordered to fork over $24,000 in contempt charges. American Oversight, however, said that they got most of the documents but not all of them.
Gableman's attorney, James Bopp, Jr., who is out of Indiana, swore that the documents didn't exist and he signed a sworn statement to that effect.
“These overbroad statements that ‘everything was produced, we searched everything,’ it’s just almost too broad to be credible given what we know from other sources and given what we know about the Office of Special Counsel’s records procedures,” attorney Christa Westerberg said.
An example revealed last month is that Gableman swore in an affidavit that he searched several electronic devices personally for records. Remington didn't think that he even had the technical capabilities to do such a search.
“Is there a reason he did not enlist the services of individuals with more sophisticated understanding of electronic communications?” Remington asked Gableman, who didn't own a personal computer at the start of the investigation and was using one from the public library.
“Quite plausibly, Mr. Gableman has demonstrated he’s not capable of conducting a professional and thorough investigation, that he deleted records, public records, and what you’re trying to do is superimpose a level of professionalism on an entity and an individual that just doesn’t exist,” Remington said last month in court, according to KPVI. “All the questions that you asked, even if I sent it back to them for supplemental response again and again and again, we’ll never get to the end of the question because you’re expecting more than what this organization and individual was prepared and able to deliver. Does that mean then you made your point and the answers will be left to the history books to wonder?”
The judge then ordered the Wisconsin Assembly to pay $160,000 in attorneys fees after holding Gableman in contempt. The Assembly had only allocated $676,000 for the investigation into the 2020 election, but Gableman has spent closer to $1 million at this point, said WISPolitics.com. At one point in the trial, Gableman was even caught on a hot mic mocking the judge and sarcastically pretending to invite the American Oversight attorney "come back into my chamber" so she could dictate what she wanted.
Meanwhile, the cases have continued and "Remington berated Bopp and his team for arguing that records had to be withheld because they were 'strategic' to the investigation," reported the AP. "The records Gableman eventually turned over included mostly blank pages, dozens of pages of duplicates and a complaint against film and television actors for criticizing the government, the judge wrote, demonstrating that the investigation accomplished nothing."
The GOP Assembly fired Gableman from the probe, with the Assembly speaker citing unprofessional behavior. But Judge Remington had a few more words for Bopp and the legal team in an order revoking five attorneys from being able to represent the Assembly Office of Special Counsel. Gableman made a number of false claims that sent Remington to issue the 90-page response.
Judge Remington said the lawyers' effort was "a pernicious and selfish attempt to repaint the truth. In doing so, [the Assembly counsel] denigrates our entire unified court system. Wis. Const. art. VII, § 2. OSC accuses me of threatening a witness, a felony under Wis. Stat. § 940.201. It does these things carelessly, with no regard for the law of the State of Wisconsin or for the facts of this case, and perhaps most perplexingly, OSC never even bothers to invent an explanation for why I am supposedly biased."
To make matters worse, the lawyer, Bopp, who works out of state in Indiana, tried to say that the judge's comments and his order to remove the lawyers was "pointless and meaningless" because the case is going to the trial court."
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