It’s been a roller coaster ride with twists and turns regarding the John Doe II investigation, where recent documents have been released that imply that Walker was involved in a “criminal scheme” with not only Koch Brothers-funded groups like Americans For Prosperity and Club For Growth, but also with Karl “Turn Blossom” Rove, the Epic Fail King who couldn’t accept that President Obama summarily beat overconfident Cayman Islands fortune hider Mitt “Corporations Are People, My Friend” Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election.
Special prosecutor Francis Schmitz boiled the investigation down to these factor: “It includes criminal violations of multiple elections laws, including violations of Filing a False Campaign Report or Statement and Conspiracy to File a False Campaign Report or Statement.”
It gets down to what the parameters are the Koch Brothers and others are testing with the Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision, where outside political groups and action committees can spend unlimited amounts of money on their own under the radar, but can’t coordinate their endless spending sprees with candidates or their campaigns.
Prosecutors accuse Gov. Scott Walker of overseeing a sweeping “criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate fundraising and campaign activity among conservative groups in a broad effort to help him — and Republican senators — beat back recalls in 2011 and 2012, newly released court documents show.
In the documents, unsealed Thursday by a federal appeals court, Francis Schmitz, the investigator for a secret, wide-ranging John Doe investigation into alleged campaign coordination, said the coordinated effort involved conservative groups, Walker, his campaign and top allies of the governor, including political consultants R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.
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Is there a “smoking gun” to take Walker down like the obvious evidence in the first John Doe investigation that declared that “SKW” (aka Scott Walker) was involved in covering up and knowing about the secret email system used on taxpayer time to run for governor? You would think that even the hardest, most ravenous fans of Walker would wince that perhaps those of us who see obvious corruption in the first batch of released documents were on to something. The major media channels yawned at the results of the first John Doe investigation. Now they are beginning to pay attention.
Prosecutors allege that Johnson was at the center of a coordinated effort between several nonprofit organizations, so-called “social welfare” groups, that worked to support Walker’s recall campaign. Coordination between nonprofits and campaign committees runs afoul of Wisconsin campaign finance laws.
Chisholm’s team of prosecutors define the effort as a “criminal scheme,” and that’s the terminology seized on by most of the media covering the story Thursday. Of particular interest to most reporters was a May 4, 2011, email from Walker to Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s political strategist and frequent cable TV commentator.
“Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin,” Walker allegedly wrote to Rove. “We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like running 9 Congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities.)”
Another infographic by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal lays it out a little differently.
This infographic offers who the cast of characters are in the investigation.
Scott Walker, as in times past, has pulled out the “it’s a partisan witch hunt” sound bite to somehow make it all go away. It’s an obviously desperate move.
“Mr. Schmitz spent over forty years serving his nation as an Army officer and as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice,” Schmitz’s attorney, Randall Crocker, said in an email to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “As a prosecutor, he represented the United States in both criminal cases and on counterterrorism task forces. He was a finalist for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin during the administration of George W. Bush.”
“Mr. Schmitz also believes in upholding the purpose of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws — as set out in Wisconsin Statute 11.001 — that ‘our democratic system of government can be maintained only if the electorate is informed.’ Wisconsin has a compelling interest in a campaign finance system that ‘must make readily available to the voters complete information as to who is supporting or opposing which candidate or cause.'”
Walker also has tried to say that the investigation is “resolved” as he got another puff interview on Fox News. Politifact rated his assessment “False”.
Walker said the secret John Doe criminal investigation of his campaign has been “resolved” and two judges have said it is “over.”
His characterization is misleading at best. The investigation has been stopped, for now, under one judge’s ruling.
But the second ruling, while a serious blow, did not end the probe, and in any event prosecutors have appealed the two rulings Walker mentioned.
We rate Walker’s statement False.
More coming as it develops.