Wisconsin Republicans who have been leading an effort to conduct a partisan “audit” of their state’s 2020 election attended a conference this week hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
The delegation included former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, state Rep. Tim Ramthun, and Wisconsin Elections Commission member Bob Spindell, according to the AP.
Gableman said he was at the conference in South Dakota “out of an honest effort to find out if anyone has any information that will be helpful in carrying out my duties as special counsel.”
In May, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced he was putting Gableman in charge of an investigation into the 2020 election. President Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,000 votes, a victory certified by state elections officials.
The event in South Dakota is the latest vehicle for Lindell to air conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, which he has falsely claimed was rigged against former President Donald Trump. Those claims resulted in Dominion Voting Systems, a manufacturer of election machines, to file a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against the pillow magnate. On Wednesday, a judge rule that lawsuit could go forward.
The Republicans’ attending Lindell’s symposium are no strangers to conspiracy theories themselves.
Spindell, one of three Republicans on Wisconsin’s elections board, attended a number of events in 2020 to “stop the steal,” the Wisconsin Examiner reported.
Spindell served as an unauthorized “elector” for Trump, part of a last-ditch effort to provide an alternative slate that would cast votes for the loser of the 2020 election as part of the Electoral College.
Gableman — who said his trip, and an earlier jaunt to witness the Cyber Ninjas “audit” in Arizona, was funded by taxpayers — himself took part in pro-Trump rallies last November, claiming at one that state officials had conspired “to steal our vote,” as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Rep. Ramthun, meanwhile, was one of 15 Wisconsin lawmakers who signed a Jan. 5 letter urging former Vice President Mike Pence to deny President Biden’s victory, the Examiner reported.