As we suggested way back when this started, the prosecutor in the John Doe case is clearly working his way up to bigger fish and on Monday, revealed documents indicating Governor Scott Walker’s participation in campaigning activity going on in his county office at the taxpayers’ expense.
Here is the bombshell you knew was coming if you read PoliticusUSA:
Gov. Scott Walker and his top campaign and Milwaukee County aides were named Monday as part of a team that routinely commingled political and official county business.
Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s Deputy Chief of Staff in his Milwaukee County Executive office, was found guilty of one count of felony misconduct and sentenced to six months in jail with three years probation. She’s the fourth person to be convicted under the John Doe investigation so far.
The judge presiding over the John Doe investigation granted the prosecutor the right to use the Walker documents in court way back on January 25.
Walker was supposed to testify for the defense, but several days later the defense made a plea bargain. You can read between the lines that Mr. Walker did not want to appear in court and offer sworn testimony on behalf of his former staffer, and thus she was forced to make a deal with the prosecution. That probably wasn’t the best idea for Walker either, but he certainly can’t afford to appear in court under oath on this matter.
Meanwhile, a Walker spokesman claims these charges are frivolous and that Walker is not being investigated. “These frivolous attacks have no factual basis.”
The documents that prove Walker’s involvement are not imaginary; they are indeed factual pieces of evidence. Furthermore, Walker lawyered up last January, choosing lawyers who specialize in real estate law and complex criminal law, under conditions that suggest that he knows he’s being investigated. The investigation into Walker’s behavior as county executive and then the campaigning on the taxpayer dime has been going on for two years plus now, and Walker has obstructed the process at every turn while misleading the public.
As we’ve been writing here for over a year, the granting of immunity to cooperative witnesses (at least 13 witnesses have been granted immunity) and the determined charge against uncooperative witnesses suggested that this case was headed for bigger fish. Now you can start to see how it’s going to get there, via the plea deals and the methodical climb up the ladder.
The facts won’t stop Republicans from claiming this is a partisan witch hunt, but in reality, this prosecutor has gone after both Democrats and Republicans, in fact two Democrats are in jail thanks to his dedication.
In what may be a spin-off investigation, William Gardner, president of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, pled guilty to felony violations for illegal campaign contributions to Walker last year. Gardner had made the same “mistake” the previous year, making the failure of the Walker campaign to catch the tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions more suspect.
After the campaigning on the taxpayer dime issue is addressed, there may still be the bid-rigging matter, which is actually even larger than the current criminal matter. This may help explain why Scott Walker lawyered up with both a criminal lawyer and a real estate lawyer back in February of this year. Systemic corruption can’t live on forever.
On this Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the hard work and dedication of the John Doe investigators and prosecutor. Justice takes her own sweet time but when she delivers, it’s delicious. We take pleasure in the toll of accountability not because of Walker’s partisan beliefs, but rather the consistently illegal and unethical manner in which Governor Walker has both campaigned and imposed his, at times, unconstitutional agenda.
Happy Thanksgiving, Governor. Please proceed.