John Doe investigation: Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide if Walker probe continues
MADISON — Wisconsin’s 2012 recall battle could become a little more timely than newly minted presidential candidate Scott Walker would like.
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court is set to decide Thursday morning whether an investigation can continue into possible violations Walker and his conservative supporters made during the recall fight.
The probe, if allowed to continue, could harangue the Wisconsin governor just as he is looks to establish himself in the wide-open field of Republican presidential candidates. The investigation could result in criminal charges for Walker and others.
Prosecutors allege Walker worked around campaign finance laws to urge donors to give money to give directly to Wisconsin Club for Growth, skirting campaign donation limits in his pricey 2012 recall battle. But Walker’s lawyers argued in recently unsealed court documents that Walker was not technically a candidate until April 9, 2012, and therefore did not break any state election laws.
The investigation is the second “John Doe” review of Walker’s activities. The first, launched by Milwaukee County’s Democratic Prosecutor John Chisholm resulted in the criminal convictions of six of Walker’s top aides from his time as Milwaukee County executive.
But the most recent investigation, launched by a bipartisan group of prosecutors and led by a Republican special prosecutor, has been stalled in court.
Walker has made his successful stand against public employee unions central to his argument that he is “unintimidated” in his fight for conservative priorities. He has called the most recent investigation a “political witch hunt.”
The second-term governor is on a national campaign swing this week, stopping through South Carolina and Georgia on Wednesday before heading to New Hampshire, and then a weekend-long RV tour of Iowa.