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Attorneys Spar In Fight To Block Wisconsin Election Subpoena

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state attorney representing Wisconsin's chief elections administrator worked Thursday to persuade a judge to block a subpoena demanding she turn over reams of documents and submit to a private interview with a former state Supreme Court justice investigating the 2020 elections for Assembly Republicans.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Michael Gableman this summer to investigate election procedures. Gableman has subpoenaed the mayors of Wisconsin's five largest cities along with Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe. He wants them to turn over all their election-related records and submit to questioning at his Brookfield office.

None of the mayors have complied. Gableman has asked a Waukesha judge to consider jailing the mayors of Madison and Green Bay if they don't comply. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit in Dane County on Wolfe's behalf in October seeking to block her subpoena.

Assistant Attorney General Gabe Johnson-Karp told Judge Rhonda Lanford during a hearing Thursday that the subpoena is vague and too broad. He also argued that since the Legislature hired Gableman any questioning must be conducted in public before the Assembly elections committee, the Assembly or the Senate.

Gableman attorney James Bopp told the judge that the commission never authorized the lawsuit and since she was subpoenaed as a government official she isn't a person in the eyes of the court and therefore has no rights.

Vos attorney George Burnett argued that Lanford should dismiss the case because the separation of powers doctrine prohibits courts from interfering with legislative investigations.

Lanford said she would issue a written ruling by Jan. 10.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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