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Republican AG May Investigate Leak of John Doe Documents

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Friday, 16 September 2016 in Wisconsin

walker-recallJust weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to review the Wisconsin decision that squashed the investigation, Republicans scramble over 'the apparent violation of the secrecy orders'.

MADISON, WI - Attorney General Brad Schimel is considering investigating the recent leak of sealed documents from the halted John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign.

The Guardian US, an arm of the British-based newspaper, on Wednesday posted more than 1,300 documents related to the investigation into whether Walker’s recall campaign circumvented state campaign finance law. The documents were supposed to be held under seal by a Wisconsin Supreme Court order, which previously had ordered them destroyed.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and other top Assembly Republicans had asked Schimel to consider appointing a special prosecutor to investigate “this apparent violation” of the Supreme Court’s order and state law earlier in the day.

But, why all the concern about documents from an investigation that Gov. Scott Walker has repeatedly claimed was ‘baseless’?

The documents posted Wednesday provide the most complete record yet of how Walker raised millions of dollars for a supposedly independent, tax-exempt group during the 2011 and 2012 recalls — activity that prompted the John Doe investigation. Walker, Assembly Republicans, and several of the Supreme Court Justices themselves directly benefited from the campaign activities of that very same group.

brad_schimelSchimel “is very concerned about the apparent violation of the secrecy orders issued by the court in this case, and is currently reviewing the available options to address the serious legal questions raised by the leak and publication of these sealed documents,” Schimel’s spokesman Johnny Koremenos said in an email to the Wisconsin State Journal.

“Should this potential crime go unprosecuted it runs the risk of undermining the integrity of our courts and judicial system,” said Vos in a letter Thursday to Schimel.

But Republican lawmakers — including Vos — have not previously publicly called for an investigation into apparent leaks to other publications, including the Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page.

For example, Wisconsin Club for Growth director Eric O’Keefe acknowledged in 2014 in an interview with conservative radio show host Vicki McKenna that the subpoena he received during the 2012 John Doe investigation included a gag order, which if violated could result in a contempt of court ruling.

Later Thursday, at another stop in the state, Walker said he is no longer raising money for Wisconsin Club for Growth, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The document disclosures come just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider a petition by prosecutors to overturn the Wisconsin Supreme Court 4-2 decision quashing the investigation.

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).


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