STOP the investigation: Judge orders ‘halt’ to John Doe case involving Walker
MADISON (WITI) — A federal judge on Tuesday, May 6th ordered a halt to the ongoing John Doe investigation into possible coordination between conservative groups, including the Wisconsin Club for Growth, and Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa on Tuesday said the John Doe investigation is hampering the Wisconsin Club for Growth’s free speech rights.
Randa ordered prosecutors to:
- Cease all activities related to the investigation
- Return all property seized in the investigation from any individual or organization
- Permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation
The judge also ordered that the Wisconsin Club for Growth is “relieved of any and every duty to cooperate with the defendants’ investigation.”
Judge Randa ruled that any attempt to force the Wisconsin Club for Growth to cooperate could result in a contempt finding by the court.
In February, FOX6 News told you about a federal lawsuit filed by Eric O’Keefe — a self-described political activist who runs the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
The conservative group was being investigated by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm as part of a secret John Doe proceeding, looking into the potentially illegal coordination between conservative political groups and Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign during the 2012 recall election.
The lawsuit filed by O’Keefe cites legal precedents that say “investigations, whether on a federal or state level, are capable of encroaching upon the constitutional liberties of individuals,” and “impinge” on “freedom of speech” — and it appears Judge Randa agreed.
O’Keefe issued the following statement to FOX6 News following Judge Randa’s ruling:
“Thanks to Judge Randa’s decision, I look forward to reengaging in Wisconsin and speaking out on issues I believe in.”