Madison, Wisconsin (AP) — A Wisconsin judge Tuesday dismissed a public record complaint that Republicans on the Wisconsin Election Commission served as false electors for former President Donald Trump.
Allegations that the Board of Elections violated the state’s public records law by wrongfully withholding documents remain pending. Commissioner Robert Spindell He was dismissed by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Frost.
Frost ruled after oral argument that the Commission itself, not Spindell, was the legal body that had to keep records of the issues and should be the subject of any lawsuit seeking them.
Law Forward, a Madison-based law firm known for its liberal-leaning litigation, has filed a lawsuit against the commission and Spindell. Law Forward attorney Scott Thompson said after the hearing that he was optimistic that the records would be turned over even if Spindell was no longer a party to the lawsuit.
The Associated Press left a voicemail and emailed Spindell’s attorney, Mark Masiorek, for comment.
The lawsuit stems from a complaint Law Forward filed with the Election Commission in 2021. Republicans alleged that Trump illegally masqueraded as Wisconsin’s electors to persuade the US Congress to declare that he won Wisconsin in 2020, even though he actually lost. Nearly 21,000 votes for President Joe Biden.
Attempts by Republicans to cast Electoral College votes in seven battleground states where Trump lost Focus of the US House of Representatives Commission investigating the January 6 attacks on the Capitol.
The Wisconsin Election Commission last year dismissed complaints about the incident, saying Republicans who tried to cast the state’s 10 electoral college votes for Trump were not violating election law. Spindell did not refuse to consider the complaint, even though he voted as a false Republican elector.
In a closed-door meeting, the Commission unanimously decided to dismiss the complaint.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has concluded that Republicans are legitimately trying to preserve Trump’s legal status as courts decide whether Trump or Biden won the election. That’s the same argument that Trump’s allies and Wisconsin’s fake electors made, including their testimony to the Commission on Jan. 6.
After the complaint was dismissed, Law Forward filed two lawsuits.
In one of the pending lawsuits, the group claims he should have been barred from considering the complaint before the committee because his actions were at the heart of the matter.
In the other lawsuit heard Tuesday, Spindell and the Election Commission allege that Law Forward failed to provide records repeatedly requested under Wisconsin’s public records law. The law firm sought documents related to comments Spindell made during the public portion of her November 2021 committee meeting. There he spoke openly about his decision not to refuse to consider complaints related to false electors. Spindell’s comments were unusual, as the committee had only considered the request in a closed session.
Specifically, Lowforward asked for correspondence regarding material Spindell appeared to be reading during the meeting. According to the lawsuit, the Election Commission provided a single document similar to what Spindell read, and said Spindell had no other relevant records.
Frost dismissed the claims against Spindell and agreed with his contention that the Commission was the legal body responsible for the records.
Law Forward filed the suit on behalf of Paul Sickel, Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Council of the Service Employees International Union.
The company also filed another lawsuit, currently pending in federal court, seeks $2.4 million in damages against 10 electors and Trump attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Jim Trupis. The lawsuit alleges that Trump and his allies conspired to reverse his losses in battleground states.
This story has been corrected to reflect the name of Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Frost.