Judge says Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers can be questioned in Trump fraudulent electors lawsuit


Madison, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers can be asked questions related to his role as a Democratic elector in the 2020 presidential election as part of an ongoing lawsuit against former President Donald Trump’s lawyers, a judge ruled Thursday. Pronounced the verdict.

the decision comes in one lawsuit by democrats It originally sought $2.4 million in damages from all 10 Republicans who presented a document to Congress that falsely declared Trump as the 2020 election winner in Wisconsin. They also sued Trump’s lawyers Jim Troupis and Kenneth Chesebro.

In December, 10 Republicans settled the lawsuit with an admission that they were part of an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory, while not paying any damages. Case finalized against Trump’s two lawyers go for a test by jury in September, two months before the presidential election.

Trupis’ attorneys had asked for the demotion of Evers and Barnes, both of whom were also on the list of potential witnesses that attorneys for the Democrats bringing the suit could call during the trial.

“I don’t know what specific knowledge Governor Evers or Lieutenant Governor Barnes will have until the testimony is taken and completed,” Trupis’ attorney Matthew Fernholz said at a hearing Thursday.

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Evers has said he believes Republicans who met in an attempt to cast the state’s electoral votes for Trump have committed a crime and should be held accountable, he said.

Fernholz said, “I don’t know the basis of that statement, but it is certainly relevant information for the purposes of this trial and the purposes of my client’s defense.”

The Wisconsin Department of Justice, representing Evers and Barnes, tried to block the testimony, arguing that they are protected under the law because of their roles as elected officials.

But Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington said he could be interrogated, though he placed limits on Evers’ interview.

Unlike most depositions, Evers could not be interrogated in person, the judge said. Instead, they will be asked questions in written form, Remington ruled from the bench.

Normally, the governor would be immune from impeachment but the judge said he understood Evers might have information that was relevant to the case. Remington said limiting questions to written form only would minimize the impact on Evers and his job as governor.

Remington said, “I am not comfortable saying that Governor Evers is immune from any and all discovery in this case.”

Remington said Evers should not be questioned until the defense has examined all other witnesses if it is determined that his testimony is no longer needed, Remington said.

Barnes, who was also a Democratic elector, could be questioned in person because the protections that applied to Evers as a current elected official do not apply to Barnes, with the judge commenting, “He is no longer a public Are citizens.”

Evers and Barnes were two of 10 Democratic electors who voted for Biden after his 2020 victory. Barnes ran for US Senate in 2022 and lost.

At its center was a fake voter scheme hatched in seven battlefields. federal indictment A lawsuit was filed against Trump in early August alleging that he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Federal prosecutors said the scheme Originated in Wisconsin.

There are no known criminal investigations underway in Wisconsin. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has indicated he is relying on federal investigators to look into what happened in the state, though he has not ruled out an investigation of his own.

Trump’s attorney Chesebro, who is a defendant in the Wisconsin lawsuit, pleaded guilty Serious charge of conspiring to file false documents after being accused of participating In efforts to overturn Trump’s defeat in Georgia. Chesebro was charged with violating the state’s anti-racketeering law along with Trump and 17 others.

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