For John, BLUF: This was a cynical attempt by Democrats in Wisconsin to use the force of secret investigations to beat back Republicans in State Government. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Wisconsin Department of Justice finds that the John Doe investigation was "on a mission to bring down the Walker campaign and the Governor himself."
The author of this purloined Blog Post is Emeritus Law Professor All Althouse, on 8 December 2017. If she sounds angry it may be because she is.
Here is how the blog post lays out, with a link to the original article:
The Wisconsin State Journal covers the Wisconsin Department of Justice report on the leaking of records from the John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign.For those interested in the document, "REPORT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING VIOLATIONS OF THE JOHN DOE SECRECY ORDERS," it can be found here.In an 88-page report, Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel lays bare the actions of staff at the former Government Accountability Board as they dug into what is described as a previously unknown, secret “John Doe III” investigation into several GOP officials and staffers who were [absolved of the suspicion that they] campaign[ed] out of taxpayer-funded offices….I wonder how the cynic in Shane Falk feels about us sheeple getting all of this out here where it can be clearly known.
[T]he report criticizes the “breathtaking” sweep of the three John Doe investigations, which included 218 warrants and subpoenas. DOJ found the John Doe investigators obtained and categorized several private emails unrelated to campaigns, including 150 personal emails between Sen. Leah Vukmir and her daughter that included health information, and placed them in a folder labeled “Opposition Research” — a term that refers to political dirt collected on opponents….
Schimel concluded the GAB staff didn’t act in “a detached and professional manner” and that it was reasonable to infer “they were on a mission to bring down the Walker campaign and the Governor himself.” He pointed to a November 2013 email in which [former GAB lawyer Shane] Falk encouraged Schmitz, who was having doubts about the GAB’s legal theory, to “stay strong.”
“Remember, in brief, this was a bastardization of politics and our state is being run by corporations and billionaires,” Falk wrote. “This isn’t democracy to say the least, but due to how they do this dark money, the populace never gets to know. The cynic in me says the sheeple would still follow the propaganda even if they knew, but at least it would all be out there so that the influences on our politicians is clearly known.”
Herre is a key paragraph:
As this report describes in detail, the systemic and pervasive mishandling of John Doe evidence likely resulted in circumstances allowing the Guardian leak in the first place, and now prevents prosecutors from proving criminal liability beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, DOJ is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponization of GAB [Government Accountability Board] by partisans in furtherance of political goals, which permitted the vast collection of highly personal information from dozens of Wisconsin Republicans without even taking modest steps to secure this information.In case you are missing it, Democrats embedded deep in the Wisconsin State Government used their John Doe powers to conduct a broad and secret investigation of Republicans, who they saw, not as an opposition political party, but as enemies of the People.
When one party or another feels it can and should engage all the levers of Government to beat back the political successes of its opposition we have slipped into being a third rate Banana Republic.
Hat tip to Ann Althouse.
Regards — Cliff