Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos apparently has something to hide

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos apparently has something to hide about his July phone call with former President Donald Trump because he does not want to expose illegal efforts to set up fake electors and overturn the state’s popular vote for Biden.

Vos filed a lawsuit in federal court Sunday seeking to avoid having to testify about the phone conversation he had two months ago with Trump after he was issued a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attempted coup d’etat the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the January 6 panel, said in a letter dated Friday that investigators wanted information about a July phone call in which Trump reportedly asked the fervently conservative Wisconsin lawmaker to retroactively change the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.

The call came on the heels of a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that disallowed ballot drop boxes that are located outside election offices, effective for elections that fell after the ruling.

The speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly sought to placate Donald Trump as the former president bombarded him over a 15-month period with phone calls about the 2020 election.

Trump won the state of Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes in 2016. He lost it by a similar margin in 2020. In both years, the state was evenly divided, with Trump seeing similar margins in similar places.

While Vos launched an expansive and expensive review of the election, he earned Trump’s revenge by refusing to take the legally impossible step of decertifying the election.

The disgraced former president accused Vos of covering up corruption, labeled one of the state’s top GOP lawmakers a ‘Republican in name only’ and endorsed a little-known primary opponent who came about 260 votes away from winning the primary election.

“As Speaker of the Assembly, Robin Vos consistently blocked efforts at conducting a full cyber forensic audit of the 2020 Election,” Trump wrote in a statement endorsing Vos’s opponent — someone who three weeks earlier, Trump said he “didn’t know.”

“In fact, his appointee to study Election Fraud in Wisconsin, highly-respected Justice Michael Gableman, found massive Election-changing fraud, abuse, and irregularities. Despite hearing this powerful evidence, Vos refused to do anything to right the wrongs that were done,” Trump wrote.

To any rational observer, it is obvious that election deniers are grasping for straws but after surviving a political challenge for staying within the law, Vos now appears ready to stand by Trump. Maybe he will behave differently when it comes to stealing the election in 2024.

“One of the things we’re seeing is that Trump is demanding a specific kind of loyalty. It’s not just that you are loyal to Trump, but you are loyal to Trump’s most extreme versions of the lie,” said Charlie Sykes, an influential conservative radio host in Milwaukee.

“This is a significant misstep,” Sykes said of how Vos has handled himself. “But it feels like the kind of misstep that establishment Republicans have been making over the last six years, which is, ‘Okay, people aren’t really going to buy the crazy. I can manage the crazy.’ Only to find out that the crazy is unmanageable.”

Some Republican officials have fared better than Vos, while others have fared worse. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger put up stiffer resistance to Trump than Vos did and won their primaries comfortably. Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who refused Trump’s entreaties to overturn the results in his state and testified before Congress about the pressure he faced, this month lost his primary for a seat in the state Senate by a 2-to-1 margin.

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