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Michael Gableman


Michael Gableman is a former Wisconsin State Supreme Court justice. During his tenure (2008–18), he and fellow conservative justices ruled that “issue advocacy” did not fall within the purview of Wisconsin campaign finance law. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) described that decision as “opening the door to unlimited funds [coming] directly from corporations and foreign firms.”

As a justice, Gableman faced multiple charges of ethics violations, including one for allegedly distorting and misrepresenting rulings by former State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler, Jr., during a campaign, and another for alleged financial conflicts of interest. 

In June 2021, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) hired Gableman to conduct an investigation into the 2020 presidential election in the state. He was given a taxpayer-funded budget of $676,000, including an $11,000 monthly salary, but missed multiple deadlines to issue a final report. Under pressure from Trump, the investigation got extended beyond its original end date of April 2022. 

The Big Lie

  • At a Nov. 7, 2020, Trump rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Gableman told the crowd, “​​I don’t think anyone here can think of anything more systematically unjust than a stolen election.” 
  • After being hired to conduct an “investigation” into the election in Wisconsin, Gableman told The New York Times that he was “unsure of who the winner of the November 2020 presidential race in Wisconsin was.”
  • In April 2022, Gableman appeared on former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, appealing to listeners to pressure the State Assembly Speaker to extend his contract to investigate election irregularities in Wisconsin.
  • As the special counsel contracted to investigate election results in Wisconsin, Gableman used taxpayer funds to travel to Mar-a-Lago (where Trump praised his ongoing efforts) and attend partisan events in Arizona and South Dakota.

Election Audits

  • In June 2021, after Trump criticized Wisconsin Republicans for not doing enough to retroactively overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) hired Gableman to conduct an investigation..
  • In August 2021, Gableman attended an event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota hosted by conspiracy theorist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Also in attendance were state Elections Commissioner Bob Spindell and state Rep. Timothy Ramthun (R), who has called the election an “​assault on the Constitution and national security.”
  • Also in August 2021, Gableman traveled to Arizona to observe the partisan election audit there.
  • According to a letter obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gableman considered hiring QAnon proponent Shiva Ayyadurai to analyze Wisconsin voting machines.
  • In September 2021, elections clerks in Wisconsin received an email ostensibly from Gableman requesting that they preserve their records. Metadata in the letters indicated they had been prepared by a user named Andrew Kloster, a lawyer and former Trump official who has spread election disinformation and was accused of harassing election officials in Brown County, Wisconsin on election night in 2020.
  • In October 2021, Gableman admitted he did not understand election law or the electoral process. “No one can call elections laws common sense. Once you understand them, it may be common sense but it’s not intuitive,” he said. “And so most people, myself included, do not have a comprehensive understanding or even any understanding of how elections work.”
  • On Dec. 1, 2021, Gableman announced that he had filed a lawsuit to compel Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich (D) and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway (D) to stand for depositions. On Jan. 21, 2022, he said that given an order from a judge delaying the lawsuit, he was no longer seeking to imprison the mayors.