Wisconsin GOP Assembly Leader Held In Contempt For Withholding Sham Audit Records

MADISON, WI - DECEMBER 04: Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) addresses the Assembly during a contentious legislative session on December 4, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Republicans are tryi... MADISON, WI - DECEMBER 04: Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) addresses the Assembly during a contentious legislative session on December 4, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Republicans are trying to pass a series of proposals that will weaken the authority of Gov.-elect Tony Evers and incoming Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul. (Photo by Andy Manis/Getty Images) MORE LESS

A Wisconsin county judge held Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) in contempt of court on Wednesday for refusing to release records of the sham audit of the 2020 election results that he had contracted.

Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ruled that Vos and the Wisconsin State Assembly both had “chosen to willfully violate a court order” that directed them to hand over records that the contractors running the audit had created to American Oversight, a nonpartisan good governance group that had sued for the documents under the public records law.

“Last November, the Court ordered each Respondent to produce contractors’ records — the Assembly as a party to the contracts and Robin Vos because an employee in his office was the ‘point of contact’ for the contractors — and yet there still appears to have never been a meaningful search of contractors’ records, except for copies which also existed in the Respondents’ own custody,” the judge wrote in her contempt order.

Under Bailey-Rihn’s order, Vos and the Assembly have to pay for the legal fees American Oversight incurred in its contempt motion. The judge also ordered the two respondents in the suit must provide within 14 days evidence that they complied with the public records law and looked for the documents they were supposed to turn over.

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If Vos and the Assembly fail to comply with the contempt order by that deadline, they’ll have to pay a $1,000 fine each day afterward until they do.

Wisconsin is one of several states with GOP-controlled legislatures that ordered a shoddy “review” of the 2020 election results in an attempt to legitimize ex-President Donald Trump’s fake narrative about voter fraud tainting the election.

Vos is spearheading his state’s audit, which has been dragging on since last year at Wisconsin taxpayers’ expense, while failing to find any evidence of election fraud (other states’ audits have similarly flopped).

Read the order below:

Correction: This post initially used different language to describe the contempt ruling. TPM regrets this error.

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