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Judge holds Wisconsin Assembly speaker in contempt over 2020 election records

Vos and the Assembly have 14 days to turn over the records and face a $1,000 daily fine if they do not.

Published: March 31, 2022 3:50pm

Updated: March 31, 2022 4:30pm

A Wisconsin judge has held state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, in contempt of court for failing to provide documents related to an investigation that he ordered of the 2020 election.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn issued a 15-page ruling on Wednesday stating Vos and the Wisconsin Assembly "have chosen to willfully violate a court order."

Her ruling came after Vos and the Assembly did not provide documents to American Oversight, a watchdog group that has targeted conservatives on numerous occasions and had been lobbying the judge to hold Vos in contempt for months.

This is one of three cases focusing on evidence from Vos and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, whom the Assembly speaker picked in June to investigate the 2020 election.

Gableman receives $11,000 a month from taxpayers under a $676,000 contract for the investigation, The Associated Press reported.

"Purge conditions shall be simple: they must prove that they have complied with their duties under the public records law to search for responsive records created by their contractors," Judge Bailey-Rihn wrote in her decision Wednesday.

Vos and the Assembly have 14 days to turn over the records and face a $1,000 daily fine if they do not. The judge also ordered them to pay part of American Oversight's legal bills.

The speaker met earlier this month with conservatives who were calling for Wisconsin to change the outcome of the 2020 election.

"We don’t have the ability to unilaterally overturn the election," Vos said. "It can’t happen."

The Federal Elections Commission declared President Joe Biden the official winner of Wisconsin's electoral college votes in the 2020 election by more than 20,000 ballots.

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