Skip to comments.John Doe judge: ‘Results of the John Doe speak for themselves’
Posted on 02/20/2014 7:36:43 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
MADISON, Wis. On a day when news headlines nationwide screamed of Gov. Scott Walkers apparent knowledge of illegal campaigning going on in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive, the judge of the nearly three-year secret investigation into Walkers former aides and associates summed up the meat of the matter.
The John Doe is closed and the results of the John Doe speak for themselves in terms of who has allegedly committed a crime, who has been charged with a crime and who has been convicted of a crime, former Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim told Wisconsin Reporter on Wednesday.
Not on that conviction list, perhaps much to the dismay of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and like-minded liberals, was Walker.
Nettesheim served as the presiding judge over a sprawling probe launched in spring 2010 by the Democrat-led Milwaukee County District Attorneys office. He shut down the investigation in March 2013, months after the prosecutions quest for convictions fizzled out. In the end, Democrat DA John Chisholm and his prosecution squad had compiled six convictions only two of them related to the original scope of the John Doe, and no charges of wrongdoing by Walker.
But you wont find those facts in Wednesdays headlines shouting the release of some 27,000 emails and other documents of Kelly Rindfleisch, Walkers deputy chief of staff when Walker was Milwaukee County executive. Rindfleisch was sentenced to six months in jail on a misconduct conviction for campaign fundraising at the courthouse using a secret email system, according to the prosecution. She is appealing that decision.
Last week, Judge Patricia Curley of the District I Court of Appeals in Milwaukee ordered the release of all of Rindfleischs personal emails.
Unsealed email ties Scott Walker to secret email system, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinels headlined declared.
This could be the start of Scott Walkers Bridgegate, posited the mostly liberal Slate.coms blogsite, working to compare the content of the emails to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christies political troubles.
The media accounts point to emails from Walker aides indicating that the then-county executive knew of the secret email system ostensibly used for campaign-related activities as Walker was running for governor.
I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW You should be sure you check it throughout the day, Cynthia Archer, Walkers administration director wrote to Rindfleisch, apparently referencing Walkers initials, according to the emails.
But, again, despite some potentially embarrassing exchanges, nothing contained in the documents or anything else dredged up in the probe led to charges of illegal activity against Walker.
The John Doe here is closed except for one lingering motion which was brought by the Journal Sentinel, Nettesheim said, referring to the newspapers push for the judge to release all documents under seal in the probe. That decision has been delayed, Nettesheim said.
Nettesheim said he was completely unfamiliar with the release of the emails, that he first learned of their distribution when he was contacted Wednesday afternoon by Wisconsin Reporter.
But liberal groups and the media at large were chomping at the bit to push out every seemingly salacious detail.
Left-bending American Bridge, a super political action committee with ties to Hillary Clinton, on Wednesday morning giddily announced it was launching a new website on Wisconsins not-so-secret John Doe probes. It rejoiced in offering the first bits of political dirt it found in the emails and interpreted them for public consumption.
But perhaps American Bridge wasnt nearly as hungry to gather intelligence on Walker as prosecutors in the John Doe investigation, as noted in the story by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the recipient of so much leaked information from that probe.
The records reveal a frenzy of activity by prosecutors and investigators on Nov. 1, 2010, the day before Walker was elected governor. They conducted raids at Walkers county office, his campaign office and the homes of several of his aides, including Rindfleisch, the newspaper noted.
Just before those raids were conducted that day, John Doe Judge Neal Nettesheim agreed to prosecutors request to enlarge the probe to include Rindfleisch and three other top aides in the Milwaukee County executives office (Walkers then-chief of staff Tom) Nardell.; Fran McLaughlin, his spokeswoman; and Dorothy Moore, his scheduler.
Enlarging the investigation has been the prosecutorial plan of action in the latest John Doe, launched in August 2012 by Chisholms office. The probe has expanded to five counties and is targeting dozens of conservative groups alleged to have committed illegal coordination with Walkers campaign during the 2012 recall election. Walker, the bane of the left for key conservative policy victories such as his government collective bargaining reforms, easily won the recall election, which were driven by multiple liberal groups and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Those liberal organizations, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed against prosecutors in John Doe II, appeared to have coordinated in the same way as conservative groups, yet not a single left-leaning organization appears to be the subject of a secret probe.
The presiding judge in the latest John Doe has quashed several subpoenas, asserting the prosecution failed to show evidence that the conservative groups in question violated the law.
Just like its predecessor, John Doe II has sparked a firestorm of controversy, viewed by conservatives as nothing more than a taxpayer-funded political witch hunt by the left.
Nettesheim said he was not surprised by the political heat the first John Doe probe generated.
When I was approached by director of the state court office and was asked if Id be willing to conduct the John Doe, I knew very well the political implications on both sides of the aisle, the judge said. But like Harry Truman once said, I find the heat in this kitchen very comfortable.
Nettesheim said he managed to equally aggravate the right and the left.
But unlike the previous John Doe, when so many conservatives seemed paralyzed by the investigations gag order, some on the right are speaking up and speaking out about what they see as an assault on their First Amendment rights. And they sound like they do not intend to go down quietly without a fight.
Full background on the “John Doe” persecution of Gov. Walker.
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
You’re right - those other links really flesh out the sordid story of a rank political witch-hunt. I especially liked the articles that spoke of Erick O’Keefe, a guy who dared to speak out against the prosecutorial malpractice.
It reminds me of the “death by a thousand cuts” attacks on Sarah Palin which distracted her from her official duties with endless (and unfounded) allegations of misconduct. The intent isn’t so much to right an obvious wrong as it is to wear a person out through constant harassment.
The right will continue to lose ground if they persist in fighting these guys but not matching their tactics.
I’ve added ‘witchhunt’ to the list of key words.
There should be fertile ground here for a republican prosecutor. Rule number 1: whatever sneaky thing a Democrat accuses a conservative of wrong doing, rest assure that Democrat has refined in practice that sneaky trick.
This is 100% ginned up.
All smoke and mirrors. All witch hunt type persecution, but worse
It is the sort of thing sophisticated dictatorships do to their opposition under seemingly legal means.
It rule by law, not rule of law.
It is premised on the opposition organizing together being illegal.
The secrecy is part and parcel of the dictatorship modus operandi
This is dark.
I take some comfort in the belief that, should Republicans ever get the stones to fight back in a similar manner, the troves of documents generated by Democrat politicians and their supporters (unions, environmental loons, green businesses looking for subsidies) will contain far more clear evidence of lawbreaking than they would ever find in Walker’s emails, etc.
One way we will know that the GOP is finally willing to take the fight to the level that Democrats always operate at is whether or not they decide to jettison the filibuster rule entirely if they re-take the U.S. Senate. The Dems fired the first (foolish) shot by dropping it for approving some Presidential appointments. The GOP needs to take it to the logical conclusion, drop it completely, and start sending up legislation that will fix the mess we’re in.
A good start would be defunding most of the agencies causing the trouble, including the EPA, the IRS, NSA, the NLRB, etc. They should take a cue from Walker, who has defunded the Secretary of State’s position to the point where LaFollette, a lifelong Democrat who keeps winning re-election, has nothing left to do, and no money to do anything he might want to try.
Tommy Thompson did the same thing to the Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction when he was in office, cutting their budget to the point that all they could afford to do was the tasks assigned to them by law, with no money left over for messing with the schools. The IRS, for example, should be cut to bare bones, just enough to collect taxes and issue refunds. Then simplify the tax law and cut them even further until one person with a good computer can administer national taxes. Impossible, I know, but it’s always good to have a goal in mind.
I predict that, should the GOP take the senate, there will soon be a bipartisan ‘gang’ that reestablishes the status quo ante. Because, you know, ‘reaching across the aisle’ has been so good for the republicans and the Republic.
I appreciate what you wrote.
>>I predict that, should the GOP take the senate, there will soon be a bipartisan gang that reestablishes the status quo ante.<<
I can understand the cynicism, but the Democrats really did screw up when they partially dropped the filibuster.
This country is on the edge. If the GOP takes the Senate, I believe they will do what’s necessary and drop the filibuster entirely. The only reason the Gang of Whatever was necessary in the first place was to get around the Senate filibuster. That’s why it was always a Senate Gang, not a House Gang.
If the GOP wins the Senate and dumps the filibuster, Obama is going to find out what it’s like to be financially emasculated. If he can still afford Valerie Jarrett’s salary, much less her secret service detail, the GOP will not be cutting deep enough. I think they will, and it will be Senators like Cruz leading the way.
Dreaming? Sure, but that’s what should happen if the GOP retakes the Senate.
I hope you’re correct.
The media isn’t biased. The media is the news arm of the DNC (or the liberal agenda whichever comes first).