Scott Walker's Back In Office and the John Doe Investigation is Back, too.

Most RedState readers are well aware of the John Doe investigation going on against Scott Walker and his campaign organization. For those who don’t know, a brief description, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:


Separate but related criminal investigations initiated by Milwaukee County prosecutors have examined events and activities during Scott Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive and as governor. Prosecutors have conducted the probes under the state’s “John Doe” statutes that grant extraordinary powers to investigators to compel testimony and maintain secrecy.

The first John Doe investigation, begun in 2010, led to convictions of six Walker aides, associates or appointees on charges ranging from theft from a veteran’s group to misconduct in office. The second Doe probe, launched in 2012, looked into coordination between conservative political organizations and Walker and other candidates during recall elections.

The second probe was halted in May 2014 by a federal judge who agreed that the investigation denied one of the conservative groups’ its free-speech rights. No charges have been filed in the second investigation. Walker has denied wrongdoing.

Make no mistake, this has been a partisan, anti-Republican and anti-conservative operation from the very start, and it has included, among other abuses, SWAT-style raids in the early morning hours of the homes of conservative activists in Wisconsin. Still, despite all the efforts of the left-wing Democratic District Attorney John Chisholm of Milwaukee, the man leading the John Doe investigation, Scott Walker has been reelected governor of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Reporter has done some amazing reporting on the subject. On November 5, they quoted by Legal Insurrection blog founder and Cornell law professor Bill Jacobson as saying:


“For four years liberal Wisconsin prosecutors have waged an all-out taxpayer funded witch hunt to try and silence and ultimately destroy Walker and conservative groups who support his pro-growth, pro-reform policies,” Jacobson said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

“Led by Democratic Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, prosecutors launched a politicized probe to try and build a case around Walker and his allies for campaign improprieties. Marked by pre-dawn, SWAT-style raids on homes, the probe has turned up nothing except frightened families and children.

“Tonight Wisconsin rejected this assault on free speech,” Jacobson said.

But the investigation has yet to go away. It’s merely on hold. As the article also notes:

For now, the John Doe probe remains on hold, awaiting direction from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Now that the gubernatorial election is settled, the court may have more incentive to act some 10 months after the case was first submitted for review.

It’s also important to note that, even if Chisholm and other Wisconsin Democrats launch no more investigations, it could be a long time before the John Doe affair is resolved. It’s possible, perhaps even probable, as the Reporter notes, that the issue might not be decided until the United States Supreme Court weighs in on the matter.

There is some good news here, though. This investigation has prompted Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (a Republican) to make reforming the John Doe procedures a priority in the coming session. The Left might try to paint this as a partisan attempt to help out Scott Walker, but once we get past the false controversy, it’s absolutely the right thing to do.


Conservatives should not overlook this investigation, and we should recognize it for what it is: an attempt to silence conservatives and Republican political speech. Scott Walker has become a darling on the right, and he might indeed be Presidential timber*, but the Wisconsin Left is doing all they can to destroy him and his supporters. We cannot let this happen, neither can we expect the mainstream media to give us any fair reporting on the matter. The major press and news outlets in Wisconsin have all been salivating over the whole ordeal, and as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel explains it, they think “the investigation has been fair and should continue.” We can’t let them define the narrative here. We must be vigilant, and we must push back.

*=That’s not necessarily an endorsement. It’s still too early for me to even think about endorsing anyone, if nothing else.


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