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Scott Walker Lawyers Up as John Doe Investigation Stalks Wisconsin GOP
Republican governor Scott Walker won’t say whether he was subpoenaed or not, but he has lawyered up and says he is willing to sit down with the investigator of the John Doe investigation that has already landed several of his top aides and donors in jail and/or with felony convictions. Walker has chosen lawyers who specialize in real estate and complex criminal law.
WIS Politics reports from a The Friends of Scott Walker campaign press release:
Over the last 20 months, District Attorney John Chisholm has been conducting an examination of issues in connection with former employees of Milwaukee County. Throughout that time, our campaign has cooperated with requests for information.
My cooperation in this matter extends beyond a willingness to supply any and all requested documents. I have already said that I would be happy to sit down with the people looking into these issues and answer any additional questions they may have. To make that point clear, last year, my representatives voluntarily contacted Mr. Chisholm’s office to arrange a time to discuss any outstanding issues. I will be voluntarily meeting with Mr. Chisholm.
To assemble additional background information, I hired counsel to insure that I am in the best position possible to continue aiding the inquiry. These attorneys, Mike Steinle and John Gallo, have been reviewing a great deal of material from the past few years, but no public money has been used or will be used for these purposes.
Everyone wants to know if Scott Walker is John Doe, even as the investigation circles closer and closer to him, catching his top lieutenants and aides in its snare. The list of Republicans going down in this sting is impressive, but it seems those hits were just on the periphery. The DA would not be granting immunity to top aides unless they had a big fish and huge corruption in their sites.
As I reported in December:
While the investigation is secret, the names of those granted immunity are made public. Cullen Werwie, who worked on Walker’s campaign and is his current spokesman, Republican operative Roseann Dieck, and Wisconsin and Southern Railroad spokesman Ken Lucht were given immunity to testify in the probe.
Granting immunity to as many as three witnesses and going after witnesses who won’t cooperate is an indication that investigators are shaking the tree in order to get the evidence they need to go after the big fish.
Meanwhile, Walker claims he won’t be charging the state for his legal fees. It may be that if he uses public money, the people might have a right to information that he would prefer be kept secret. It looks like Walker’s national fundraising probably had less to do with his recall than it does with establishing a legal defense fund. After all, he has already paid the law firm that includes his attorney at least $100,000.00
The lawyers Walker hired specialize in real estate and and complex criminal law:
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne made the following statement regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s announcement he will meet with prosecutors regarding the ongoing John Doe investigation.
“Gov. Walker’s announcement that he’s beefing up his legal team with attorneys specializing in complex criminal law and real estate is just the latest twist in the scandal that’s engulfed his administration over these last twenty months.
Having already reportedly paid the law firm that includes his attorney, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Steven Biskupic, at least $100,000 this can’t be good news.
Hopefully he will be more forthright in answering the questions posed to him in his meetings with prosecutors than he has been thus far with the media and the people of Wisconsin.”
And with the law hot on his tail for over a year now, it also explains Walker’s rush to get his agenda implemented.
Let’s think outside of the box for a moment, because the sorts of things that have come up under Walker’s reign of terror in addition to the issues during his previous job as county supervisor show a trail of corruption within the Republican Party. Walker has had many willing soldiers in pushing the boundaries of the law for their radical Right wing agenda.
The Wisconsin Republican Party itself is knee deep in crap, and that’s just from what is already known. From elections with no confidence to missing ballots to “passing” laws by violating open meeting laws, the Wisconsin Republicans have shown that they have little respect for the law. As I noted back in April, there is a pattern of systemic corruption within the Wisconsin Republican Party. The Walker administration and the Republicans in the state Senate and House have established a pattern of violating the law, now topped off by convicted campaign donors for violations of campaign laws, allegations of theft from charities and child porn — the list is incredible.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the John Doe investigation were centered on Walker or someone close to him, but manages to take down some power players in the Wisconsin Republican Party at the same time.