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Wisconsin judge orders elections commission to release all records on fake Trump elector

Wisconsin judge orders elections commission to release all records on fake Trump elector

A Wisconsin decide on Friday ordered the state elections fee to launch all data it has associated to one in every of its Republican members and his function as one in every of 10 individuals who posed as pretend electors in 2020 for former President Donald Trump.

The lawsuit, filed by a union chief represented by the liberal agency Legislation Ahead, sought fee data associated to Robert Spindell and feedback he made about his function as a pretend elector. Spindell is one in every of three Republican state elections fee members.

Faux electors met in Wisconsin and 6 different battleground states the place Trump was defeated in 2020, making an attempt to solid ballots for the previous president regardless that he misplaced. Republicans who participated in Wisconsin mentioned they have been attempting to protect Trump’s authorized standing in case courts overturned his defeat.


The function of these pretend electors, significantly in Wisconsin, was central to the federal indictment in opposition to Trump launched this week. Trump pleaded not responsible Thursday to attempting to overturn the outcomes of his 2020 election loss.

Legislation Ahead filed a criticism with the Wisconsin Elections Fee in 2021 saying the pretend electors broke the regulation. The fee voted unanimously in a closed assembly to reject that criticism, saying the pretend electors didn’t violate any election legal guidelines. Spindell didn’t recuse himself from contemplating the criticism, regardless that he voted as one of many pretend GOP electors.

The Wisconsin Division of Justice agreed with Trump allies and the pretend electors and concluded that Republicans have been legitimately attempting to protect his authorized standing as courts have been deciding if he or Biden received the election.

In Might, one other state decide ordered the elections fee to rethink its vote rejecting the criticism. Dane County Circuit Decide Frank Remington dominated that Spindell shouldn’t have taken half within the preliminary dialogue and vote as a result of he was focused within the criticism.

The fee has not but issued a brand new choice.

Commissioner Robert Spindell seems at a digital Wisconsin Elections Fee assembly, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (WisconsinEye by way of AP)

Legislation Ahead alleged in its lawsuit that the fee failed to show over data requested a number of instances underneath Wisconsin’s open data regulation. The agency sought paperwork associated to a remark Spindell made throughout the public portion of a November 2021 fee assembly the place he brazenly mentioned his choice to not recuse himself. The fee had been contemplating the request in closed session solely, which made Spindell’s feedback uncommon.

Particularly, Legislation Ahead requested for communications surrounding materials that Spindell seemed to be studying from throughout the assembly. In response to the lawsuit, the elections fee supplied a single doc that resembled what Spindell learn from and mentioned Spindell had no different associated data.

The fee argued that the data are in Spindell’s possession, not the fee’s.

“This argument is nonsensical,” Dane County Circuit Decide Jacob Frost dominated on Friday. “Data held by WEC commissioners are within the custody of WEC and should be supplied in response to a data request.”

He gave the fee till Sept. 8 to “carry out a whole overview and produce all data in its possession, whether or not held by employees or commissioners” that aren’t in any other case exempt from the open data regulation.


Fee spokesperson Riley Vetterkind had no touch upon the ruling.

Legislation Ahead lawyer Scott Thompson praised it.

“Most of us imagine in open and clear authorities,” Thompson mentioned. “That is doubly true as we search to assemble extra details about those that sought to undermine the need of the individuals.”

Legislation Ahead introduced the case on behalf of Paul Sickel, government director of the Service Staff Worldwide Union’s Wisconsin State Council.


The agency has additionally filed one other lawsuit in opposition to the ten electors and Trump attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Jim Troupis searching for $2.4 million in damages. That case, which is pending, alleges Trump and his allies conspired to overturn his loss within the battleground state.

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