Erick Kaaral speaks to members of the Wisconsin Assembly.
Erick Kaardal delivers remarks to members of the Wisconsin Assembly elections committee at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., on March 1, 2022. Kaardal and the nonprofit law firm, Thomas More Society, are playing unofficial but central roles in the ongoing investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election. (John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal)
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Unofficial election investigator; undisclosed evidence; behind the Big Lie; Foxconn reflections; future of refugee resettlement

Of note: This week we highlight our story detailing how the nonprofit Thomas More Society law firm and its attorney, Erick Kaardal, are playing an unofficial — but central — role in the taxpayer-funded investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election. Reporter Matt Mencarini found that Kaardal has filed numerous unsuccessful lawsuits aimed at overturning the 2020 election or accusing election officials of malfeasance. Since September, Kaardal and his law firm have subleased office space for about $3,000 a month directly from Gableman’s company, Mencarini found.

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Erick Kaardal delivers remarks to members of the Wisconsin Assembly elections committee at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., on March 1, 2022. Kaardal and the nonprofit law firm, Thomas More Society, are playing unofficial but central roles in the ongoing investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election. (John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal)

‘Blurring of lines’: Private lawyer plays starring role in taxpayer-funded Wisconsin election probe

Wisconsin Watch — April 23, 2022

Although he lacks a contract or official role in Michael Gableman’s GOP-ordered investigation of the 2020 election, attorney Erick Kaardal of the Thomas More Society has become a de facto lead investigator. Roughly half of the chapters in Gableman’s 136-page interim report are based on Kaardal’s work.

Also from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Robin Vos extends Michael Gableman’s Wisconsin election review after pressure from Donald Trump

Jonathan Liebzeit is seen about a year before he participated in the murder of Alex Schaffer in 1996 with his sister Tina and mother Sarah. (Courtesy of the Liebzeit family)

A horrific murder. Police helped a key witness. The prosecutor kept it secret.

Wisconsin Watch/WPR — April 27, 2022

Outagamie County District Attorney Vince Biskupic didn’t disclose aid the police provided for a key witness in the prosecution of Jonathan Liebzeit for a murder in Kaukauna in 1996. Liebzeit’s attorney says this was “absolutely” a violation of the requirement that prosecutors provide all evidence that could point toward a defendant’s innocence.

Read and listen to our podcast, Open and Shut.

Building the ‘Big Lie’: Inside the creation of Trump’s stolen election myth

ProPublica — April 26, 2022

ProPublica has obtained a trove of internal emails and other documentation that tell the inside story of a group of people who propagated a number of the most pervasive theories about how the election was stolen, especially that voting machines were to blame, and helped move them from the far-right fringe to the center of the Republican Party.

A globe is constructed Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, at the Foxconn campus in Mount Pleasant. Angela Major / WPR

A former Foxconn executive tries to explain what went wrong in Wisconsin

The Verge — April 19, 2022

Former Foxconn executive Alan Yeung tries to explain why the company’s plan to revive U.S. manufacturing — endorsed by then-President Trump and then-Gov. Scott Walker — failed to deliver.

Wisconsin refugee agencies reflect on challenges, growth from intense effort to resettle Afghan evacuees

WPR — April 27, 2022

Organizations resettling refugees in Wisconsin say their work has started to return to normal after welcoming an influx of people from Afghanistan this winter. But the historic effort has had some lasting impacts on the way resettlement agencies are operating going forward.

Previously from Wisconsin Watch: ‘I don’t know what will happen’: After months at Ft. McCoy Afghan family resettled in separate states

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The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.