Michael “Grifter” Gableman is a lawyer, a former judge, and a former justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. But he doesn’t know what the potential penalties are for Contempt of Court?
So when he refused to co-operate with a subpoena from Judge Frank Remington’s Dane County Court on June 10th, he seemed utterly surprised that he might face jail time.
Well, he doesn’t yet, but he has been fined $2,000 per day until he supplies the requested documents to the court or proves that all pertinent documents have already been provided. That last might he hard to prove given that Gableman’s office has opening admitted destroying documents that they didn’t feel were pertinent to their work (investigating Wisconsin’s handling of the 2020 presidential election).
Consider Gableman’s appearance Friday, when, after 45 minutes of argument by his lawyers that he should not have to testify at all, he finally took the stand. He proceeded to deliver a bombastic speech, refused to answer questions and denounced the judge, who, he declared, without evidence, “has abandoned his role as a neutral magistrate and is acting as an advocate.”
After a brief further exchange, Gableman said, “You have a right to conduct and control your courtroom, judge, but you don’t have a right to act as an advocate for one party over the other. I want a personal counsel if you are putting jail on the table. I want a personal attorney to represent me personally. I will not answer any more questions. I see you have a jail officer here. You want to put me in jail, Judge Remington, I’m not going to be railroaded.”
All of this talk of putting Gableman in jail was precipitated by Remington’s instruction in an earlier hearing about the legal consequences of willfully withholding evidence in contempt of court, which includes, he explained Friday, reading from the Wisconsin Judicial Bench Book, “imprisonment six months or as long as contempt continues, whichever is shorter … in addition to payment to compensate loss or injury suffered by a party … not to exceed $2,000 per day for each day a contempt continues.”
Despite Gableman’s histrionics, “At no time did I suggest that that was a sanction that I intended to impose,” Remington added.
So a former judge and current lawyer doesn’t realize that jail is a thing for contempt of court? Really? Of course he knows it but it is simply another example of the GOP ‘elite’ thinking they are above the law.
So yes, MR. Gableman, you might want to lawyer up. But the Fifth Amendment doesn’t apply here.
After throwing his tantrum on the stand Friday Gableman invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and swept out of the courtroom.
This isn’t a criminal case MR. Gableman, just sayin’.
I see you have a jail officer here.
I have never been in a court of law that didn’t have a bailiff on duty in the courtroom. Again, why is MR. Gableman surprised??
The irony, of course, is that Gableman himself filed a petition in the Waukesha County court asking that city staff, election workers and the mayors of Green Bay Madison and Racine be thrown in jail if they don’t comply with his subpoenas, including demands that they give testimony in secret, closed-door sessions the mayors said were improper.