Federal Court Orders Release Of John Doe Probe Documents

Documents Reveal That Prosecutors Believed Walker Was Part Of 'Criminal Scheme'

The John Doe probe was investigating alleged illegal campaign coordination from Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign.Photo: Gateway Technical College (CC-BY-NC-ND).

A federal court has ordered the public release of 268 pages of documents filed in a John Doe criminal probe that was investigating the campaign activities of Gov. Scott Walker.

The documents reveal, among other things, that:

  • The prosecutors involved in the investigation believed that Walker was a central part of a “criminal scheme” in which he and two of his top consultants, R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl, illegally coordinated fundraising between 12 different political groups during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections.
  • Walker sent an email in 2011 to Karl Rove that praised R.J. Johnson for taking point on the coordination: “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 9 congressional markets in every market in the state.”
  • Johnson, prosecutors allege, has gone so far as to say, “We own (the Wisconsin Club for Growth).”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Walker answered questions related to the documents in Milwaukee on Thursday. He said he could not speak to the specifics within the documents, because he had yet to review them, but denied being part of a “criminal scheme.”

“You’ve got two judges both a state judge and a federal judge, who have said they didn’t buy into the argument that has been presented at this point,” said Walker. “I think their words speak pretty strongly.”

You can listen to Walker’s press conference below:

Two unknown people made motions to block the release, on the grounds that it would invade their privacy, but Seventh Circuit Court Judge Frank Easterbrook denied their requests.

The John Doe investigation, which began in 2012, was put on hold in May after U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa declared that it was violating the constitutional rights of one of the groups under scrutiny, the Wisconsin Club for Growth. That ruling is on appeal.

Editor’s Note: This story is being updated as we learn more about the documents.

Check out the documents below: