Republicans are abusing the impeachment process. Maybe that needs to become an impeachable offense.

Trump Vos Plane

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and former President Donald Trump travel to a Trump rally in Alabama aboard the former president's plane on Aug. 23, 2021, as seen in a photo posted by Vos to his Twitter account.

By Pat Kreitlow

November 7, 2023

Trump is facing justice, as are hundreds of insurrection participants. It’s past time for the middlemen to be held accountable for undermining American elections and democracy itself.

Appearing to cave to right-wing pressure, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has set in motion a process that could lead to the Republican-controlled Legislature trying to impeach Meagan Wolfe, the administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. It is a movement rooted in the same old lies about the 2020 election—and for that reason we feel justified in asking aloud if it isn’t time to draft counter articles of impeachment against the politicians abusing the impeachment process.

Naturally these counter articles won’t be taken up, but that doesn’t make drafting them a waste of time. The real waste of time is the ongoing chatter about impeaching Wolfe, a nationally-regarded leader in elections administration, and state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who was elected by a healthy majority of Wisconsin voters.

As noted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other fact-checkers, every one of the articles of impeachment against Wolfe include falsehoods or misleading assertions. At some point, these elected officials aren’t making mistakes or confused about the facts—they’re just lying. They are knowingly draining taxpayer resources to gin up support for impeachments that have no basis.

Sadly, this isn’t the only way that Republicans have abused the system for partisan games since they took over the Legislature. They straight-up fired eight of Gov. Tony Evers’ appointees recently in a case of gross legislative malpractice. Instead of giving Evers the courtesy of naming his own officials, Senate Republicans have sat on nearly 200 confirmations for years in order to give themselves power to fire appointees, a power the confirmation process was never designed to give. 

Republican lawmakers have also twisted the legislative rules process, turning what has normally been a routine behind-the-scenes matter into a process for blocking Evers and his department heads from implementing laws already passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. 

So whether we’re talking about legislative rules, nominee confirmations, impeachments, the 2018 lame duck attack on the governor’s power, or the efforts to restrict voting and weaken or eliminate the Wisconsin Elections Commission, we can’t help but see a Republican Party willing to sink to any level in order to grab power simply because its legislators didn’t like the results of an election. That is why it’s time to stop playing nice with politicians who are deliberately undermining public faith in elections.

Former President Donald Trump is already facing accountability for his effort to overthrow the results of an American election, and more than 1,000 Americans are somewhere in the criminal justice process for their role in the insurrection. It is long past time for more of Trump’s lieutenants—including members of Congress, legislators, and fake electors—to be held legally responsible for their work to sabotage democracy—work that is still happening today, as seen by the abuse of the impeachment process in Wisconsin. 

Vos said on Tuesday he doesn’t think the attempt to impeach Wolfe will come up for a floor vote in the Assembly, as his members are “nowhere near a consensus.” But with so many more pressing matters— real problems that affect families, farmers, businesses, the climate, our schools, and more—it is inexcusable that we have to even discuss this. 

It’s time for voters to see a competing set of impeachment articles and decide for themselves who really deserves to be bounced from office.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.


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