Wisconsin prosecutor backtracks: Scott Walker ‘not a target’ of investigation

posted at 5:21 pm on June 26, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Last week, a Wisconsin special prosecutor set the political world on fire when he alleged, and a variety of venues credulously repeated, that Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a “criminal scheme” involving the illegal coordination of conservative groups and fundraisers when he faced a recall election in 2011-2012.

“The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall election campaigns, according to the prosecutors’ filings,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on June 19.

Special prosecutor Francis Schmitz wrote that Walker was involved in “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.”

Ed Morrissey wrote a compelling post outlining why these charges were flimsy, and it was irresponsible of a number of media outlets – including The Washington Post and The New York Times – to repeat them so uncritically.

“They’re deliberately misleading people by minimizing or outright omitting the fact that two different courts have looked at these charges and sneered at them,” Morrissey wrote.

Under pressure, Schmitz stood by the incendiary charge against Walker. On Thursday, however, he seemed to be changing his tune:

“Gov. Scott Walker has not been a target of the John Doe investigation into alleged illegal campaign finance coordination, an attorney for the special prosecutor overseeing the probe said Thursday,” The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Randall Crocker, the lawyer for special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, noted the investigation has been halted, saying, “At the time the investigation was halted, Governor Walker was not a target of the investigation. At no time has he been served with a subpoena.”

Crocker clarified that Schmitz had included Walker’s name in a probe into documents relating to what he referred to again as a “criminal scheme.”

“While these documents outlined the prosecutor’s legal theory, they did not establish the existence of a crime; rather, they were arguments in support of further investigation to determine if criminal charges against any person or entity are warranted,” Crocker concluded. “Mr. Schmitz has made no conclusions as to whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime.”

The investigation into the John Doe scandal was halted last month by a federal judge. Prosecutors have appealed that ruling.A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party told the State Journal that they “agree with prosecutors that further investigation is warranted.”


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D’oh !!

Walker – 2016 – Please !!!!!

jake-the-goose on June 26, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Oh well – nothing to see here. Walker’s probably due for an IRS audit anyway.

Drained Brain on June 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

“Purge” is the word of the day…

“Fanatic Liberals” is the phrase of the day…

BigWyo on June 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Not a smidge

mankai on June 26, 2014 at 5:28 PM

The Liberals got what they wanted. Headlines from newspapers and TV so they could start running attack ads. They started today. Remember, it’s the accusation that counts.

Mission Accomplished.

WisRich on June 26, 2014 at 5:29 PM

I’m sure this will be on the NYT front page.

Mark1971 on June 26, 2014 at 5:30 PM

A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party told the State Journal that they “agree with prosecutors that further investigation is warranted.”

Into their part in the unprecedented coordination of the recall efforts between the DPW, Team SCOAMT, various recall groups, and various Rat candidates? Sure.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Down goes another liberal meme.

Robert_Paulson on June 26, 2014 at 5:32 PM

“Now that we’ve falsely put your name out there as a potential criminal, we’re retracting our statement. But yeah, the original meme is still floating around sooo….oh well.”

Bishop on June 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Failed black America? Heck, the president failed all America. Blacks have just borne the brunt of this epic failure since they have generally been the more vulnerable segment of society.

Dusty on June 26, 2014 at 5:36 PM

The Liberals got what they wanted. Headlines from newspapers and TV so they could start running attack ads. They started today. Remember, it’s the accusation that counts.

Mission Accomplished.

WisRich

This.

Ms. Contrarian Scientist on June 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Headlines, right?

Shay on June 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

More from David Blaska, the source of the previous item:

The defense filing notes that in January 2010, the City of Milwaukee awarded a no-bid contract paying $75 an hour to a former campaign spokesman for Tom Barrett, who was then a candidate against Walker for governor in the first go-around. “Among other things, [Jeff] Fleming worked on speeches for Barrett, and correspondence regarding this and other campaign activities was sent both to Fleming’s city account and his personal account. … The District Attorney’s Office did not investigate this appearance of impropriety, much less commence an open-ended investigation into Barrett’s campaign.”

That no-actual-city-work job Fleming had was, if memory serves, being a PR flack for a city agency not directly under Barrett’s purview.

That would also be the same campaign-work-on-government-time charge that the Milwaukee prosecutors persecutors, in the first John Doe investigation, got two coerced guilty pleas from former aides to Walker who worked on campaigns other than Walker’s.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

[Dusty on June 26, 2014 at 5:36 PM]

Wow, wrong thread.

Dusty on June 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

For conservatives, accusations are all that is needed to have the press crucify them. For dems, they can get caught red handed breaking the law and nothing happens.

tommer74 on June 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

The Liberals got what they wanted. Headlines from newspapers and TV so they could start running attack ads. They started today. Remember, it’s the accusation that counts.

Mission Accomplished.

WisRich

While I understand this comment – you must not allow yourself to become a victim – that is the GOP’s greatest issue today.

We need to buck-up and get pissed off and win.

With all due respect.

jake-the-goose on June 26, 2014 at 5:40 PM

“Now that we’ve falsely put your name out there as a potential criminal, we’re retracting our statement. But yeah, the original meme is still floating around sooo….oh well.”

Bishop on June 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM

You should see the local Burke-for-governor Presstitute Organ’s coverage of this latest development.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:40 PM

This is the equivalent of the judge telling the jury to ignore the prosecuting attorney’s improper question. Once the smoke is out of the chimney, it’s impossible to put it back in. Anyone who would read the New York Times or the Washington Post is not looking for truth anyway.

ricoliv on June 26, 2014 at 5:42 PM

How does he get his clean bill back?

OT – are these not potential ISIS?

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Contained in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s account is this nugget:

“Crocker didn’t immediately respond to a question about why he had issued the statement Thursday.”

Crocker of course is the lawyer for the special prosecutor, Schmitz. Perhaps one of the judges has made his displeasure known.

Quite a sudden change of attitude. Odd that a lawyer needs a lawyer to represent him unless he’s really worried about something. Something about all this smells like rhymes-with-Schmitz.

Drained Brain on June 26, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Oh well – nothing to see here. Walker’s probably due for an IRS audit anyway.

Drained Brain on June 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

After which the IRS will lose his tax return, and claim that he didn’t pay his taxes.

Steve Z on June 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Anybody else understanding how the good and decent people in Germany of the 1930s felt. How so little the average person felt they could do as the minority NAZIs rolled to power.

jukin3 on June 26, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Press: Governor Walker, when did you stop violating election laws?

Steve Z on June 26, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Odd that a lawyer needs a lawyer to represent him unless he’s really worried about something. Something about all this smells like rhymes-with-Schmitz.

Drained Brain on June 26, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Considering Schmitz is a defendant in an ongoing federal civil lawsuit, one that could potentially drain his pocketbook,….

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Style typ – the local Burke-for-governor Presstitute Organ’s name is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (no hyphen). That last portion is a 19-years-and-running thumb in the eye of WISN-AM’s Mark Belling, which broke 3 months before it was to happen the ending of the morning (and somewhat-less-liberal) Sentinel in favor of the afternoon very-liberal Journal.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM

To have Wisconsin out of the hands of the Koch brothers would be nice.

libfreeordie on May 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM

“Tip”, even. I’m beginning to think I either need a new keyboard or remedial typing lessons.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM

To keep Wisconsin liberated from the hands of $oro$ and Team SCOAMT would be even better.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Randall Crocker, the lawyer for special prosecutor Francis Schmitz,

Better lawyer up, lawyer! Layers and layers of lawyers!

Marcola on June 26, 2014 at 5:59 PM

A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party told the State Journal that they “agree with prosecutors that further investigation is warranted.”

I agree that further investigation is warranted. Prosecutorial malfeasance should always be investigated.

RoadRunner on June 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM

To keep Wisconsin liberated from the hands of $oro$ and Team SCOAMT would be even better.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Add the groups “Fair” Wisconsin and The Freedom From Religion Foundation to that “outgoing” list for good measure, will ya?

Sterling Holobyte on June 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Add the groups “Fair” Wisconsin and The Freedom From Religion Foundation to that “outgoing” list for good measure, will ya?

Sterling Holobyte on June 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Who do you think funded “Fair” Wisconsin? Annie Laurie Gaylor’s group does predate $oro$ though.

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Wisconsin prosecutor backtracks: Scott Walker ‘not a target’ of investigation

Probably threatened with contempt by a judge.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 26, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Ask Walker what he thinks of Jeb Bush.

Walker 2016!

PappyD61 on June 26, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I’m sure we’ll see full retractions and apologies on the front page of every part of the media that published the lie, any time now, soon, I’m sure it’s coming right up,… Bueller?

dentarthurdent on June 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

What they know is that you cannot but a fart back in the ass.

CW on June 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

What they know is that you cannot but a fart back in the ass.

CW on June 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I say we give it the old college try on some of these libtards – with a big high pressure tank of methane and a nozzle…..

dentarthurdent on June 26, 2014 at 6:42 PM

What they know is that you cannot but a fart back in the ass.

CW on June 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I say we give it the old college try on some of these libtards – with a big high pressure tank of methane and a nozzle…..

dentarthurdent on June 26, 2014 at 6:42 PM

And Francis Schmitz gets the first try…..

dentarthurdent on June 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Headlines, right?

Shay on June 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

…back then!…………now if you can find it…it’s probably in the bottom left of page 57 or 69 on the advertising pages.

JugEarsButtHurt on June 26, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Wisconsin prosecutor backtracks: Scott Walker ‘not a target’ of investigation

Probably threatened with contempt by a judge.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 26, 2014 at 6:13 PM

That’s my question, -why the backtrack? Don’t tell me that Schmitz and Crocker suddenly found a sense of ethical duty, they are Democratics.

slickwillie2001 on June 26, 2014 at 7:05 PM

So to recap, there was a John Doe investigation. Republicans sued to get the nvestigation records released. Media get ahold of the details as a result and publish the stuff that seems salacious.

Somehow republicans blame this all on the left.

Maybe you guys should stop ordering acme made roadrunner traps. At the very least stop blaming us for the damage you keep doing to yourselves.

Tlaloc on June 26, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Tlaloc on June 26, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Were you always this bad at reading comprehension or did you have to work to get this bad at it?

Steve Eggleston on June 26, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Tlaloc on June 26, 2014 at 7:55 PM

You’re funny.

Dolce Far Niente on June 26, 2014 at 8:04 PM

You’re so deep in fantasy land you literally can’t parse the article, eh Tlaloc?

TarasBulbous on June 26, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Two lawyers totally jacking up the law. The only “Special” thing about this prosecutor is his need for education.

On the other hand, there is an element of comedy. Laurel and Hardy couldn’t have done it better.

abester on June 26, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Randall Crocker, the lawyer for special prosecutor Francis Schmitz

The fact that the lawyer needs a lawyer should tell you everything you need to know about the validity of the investigation.

airupthere on June 27, 2014 at 9:49 AM

the libs did their job. they threw something against the wall hoping it would stick. even if they retract everything it is in people’s minds. “When did you last not beat your wife?”

warmairfan on June 27, 2014 at 1:25 PM