Judge Finds WI Speaker in Contempt for Refusing to Turn Over Recount Documents

Thursday’s circuit judge found the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, in contempt of court for refusing to turn over documents relating to the state’s recount of the 2020 presidential election.

“Robin Vos had delegated the search for contractors’ records to an employee who did nothing more than send one vague email to one contractor,” wrote Dane County Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn. “Putting aside for the moment the impropriety of making a contractor responsible for a records request … Robin Vos did not tell [sic]The contractor who had to produce the records did not ask any other contractors and did not even look at the records that were received. Still worse, the Assembly did nothing at all.”

Bailey-Rihn has given Vos the order to release the materials within 14 days or to pay a daily penalty of $1,000 if they don’t. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Bailey-Rihn established that, if the documents aren’t provided, Vos must provide an explanation.

Wednesday’s ruling stems from an inquiry Vos launched back in May off the back of Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. According to The Washington Post, Vos’ sham audit, which has a taxpayer-funded budget of $700,000, has enlistedThe assistance of retired police officers as well as an attorney. Vos has so far been subpoenaed scores of election officialsIn metropolitan areas such as Green Bay, Racine, and Milwaukee, you can find them all throughout the state.

In October, nonpartisan watchdog American Oversight filed a lawsuit against Vos and the Wisconsin State Assembly demanding that the judge release records detailing the investigation — a request that Bailey-Rihn has now affirmed.

“Speaker Vos and the Assembly have had ample opportunity to comply with the court’s order and produce records,” Bailey-Rihn wrote.

Still, Bailey-Rihn’s ruling only deals with one of three suits filed by American Oversight.

Vos, for his part, has suggested that Bailey-Rihn’s ruling is part of a politically-motivated smear campaign.

“It’s a liberal judge in Dane County trying to make us look bad. I don’t know about you, but when you have deleted emails, how do you get deleted emails back if they’re from Gmail?” he saidMadison.com says so. “We already have an expert saying they can’t be done. You have a judge who’s focused on making a name for herself, and that’s all she’s doing.”

Thus far, no substantive evidence has emerged to justify the Vos’ recount, for which he is being paid$11,000 per month. Trump was defeated by President Biden in Wisconsin by a margin 21,000 votes. This result was achieved by a conservative law firm. confirmedIn December, after a ten month review of the election.

The ruling against the GOP speaker comes amid another outrage over the Republican takeover of the state’s Natural Resources Board, which, like Vos’ sham audit, is benefiting from a highly partisan State Assembly willing to defy the norms of good government.

Friday will be Wisconsin State JournalThe editorial board called for Fred Prehn’s resignation from the Natural Resources Board after Prehn refused to resign eleven months after his term expired. Prehn will theoretically be allowed to continue his service until his replacement is confirmed in the State Assembly. However, the State Assembly’s Republican caucus is dragging out the transition indefinitely.

“Prehn seems to think he can serve for life, like an emperor,” the Wisconsin State JournalEditorial board wrote. “If that’s true, then good government in Wisconsin is further eroded — along with the public’s ability to hold government officials accountable.”