Walker Dismisses Allegations Of Criminal Activity

Documents Released Thursday Reveal Prosecutors Believed Walker Was Part Of 'Criminal Scheme'

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo: Shawn Johnson/WPR News.

Gov. Scott Walker is trying to brush aside newly released court documents that say he was the center of a criminal fundraising-related scheme during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections.

A federal district judge in Milwaukee recently put the investigation known as “John Doe 2” on hold. The probe was looking into alleged coordination between conservative groups and Walker’s 2012 recall campaign.

Seventh Circuit Court Judge Frank Easterbrook, who is reviewing the case, ordered the release of hundreds of pages of documents from the investigation on Thursday. In them, prosecutors contend that Walker was at the center of the coordination.

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Walker has responded to the allegations within the documents with a press conference on Thursday and in a column written for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday. In both, he said that state and federal district judges were not convinced by the argument made by the John Doe prosecutors.

“I think it’s pretty clear that you’ve got judges who are a separate branch of government – at the state level certainly, but also at the federal level – who made it clear that they don’t think the case has been made,” said Walker.

It was also revealed in the documents that Walker allegedly sent an email to conservative strategist Karl Rove in 2011, in which he talked about R.J. Johnson of Wisconsin Club for Growth being in charge of coordination.

Walker at first told the media that he’d have to go back and look at the email in question before addressing it; he next said he couldn’t imagine doing that.

State Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Bauldauf said the newly released documents are troubling.

“He was looking to brag about his illegal campaign operation to people like Karl Rove,” she said.

Walker and his aides have not been charged with criminal wrongdoing. The allegations could affect his re-election campaign, though polls have shown a majority of Wisconsin voters do not seem to have to a great deal of concern about either of the John Doe probes that have investigated Walker’s gubernatorial campaigns in the last few years.

Baldauf said the latest Doe documents came out the same day as a relatively weak jobs report for Wisconsin.

“The latest federal jobs data shows that Wisconsin ranks dead last in the Midwest in job creation since Scott Walker took office,” said Baldauf. “Scott Walker is in a very bad position and very vulnerable in this race.”

Baldauf said she hopes the probe is allowed to run its course, which could coincide with the four and a half months left until the November election.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information from the Friday morning broadcast.