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Prosecutors: Wisconsin Governor Part Of Illegal Fundraising Scheme

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 20, 2014 4:00PM

Prosecutors in Wisconsin contend Gov. Scott Walker participated in a “criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate fundraising efforts during the 2011 and 2012 gubernatorial and senate recall elections. Documents released Thursday in a “John Doe” investigation (a secret type of probe that allows prosecutors to compel witnesses to give testimony under oath) claim Walker and his chief of staff Keith Gilkes discussed the coordination with several prominent people, including GOP propagandist Karl Rove.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports Walker and his cohorts allegedly raised money through about a dozen conservative groups during the recall election. According to the documents, R.J. Johnson, who “exercised direction and control” over the group Wisconsin Club for Growth and created the group Citizens for a Strong America with his partner Deborah Jordahl, were key players in the effort.

In an email to Rove, Walker says:

Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like running 9 Congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities.)

The documents were unsealed by Judge Frank Easterbrook, in a review of an ongoing lawsuit by the Wisconsin Club for Growth that aims to halt the John Doe investigation. Walker, who may be running for president in 2016, said:

“It's pretty clear, you've got two judges, both a state judge and a federal judge, who said that they didn't buy into the argument that has been presented at this point. I think their words speak pretty strongly both at the federal and state level.”

Andrew Grossman, the group’s attorney, told the Sentinel the documents are proof of a witch hunt against conservatives.

“The materials released today are all ones that we asked the district court to unseal because the public has a right to know about the the John Doe prosecutors' abuse of government power.”

According to the Sun-Times, lead investigator Francis Schmitz wrote in court filings “The scope of the criminal scheme under investigation is expansive. It includes criminal violations of multiple elections laws.”