Author Topic: Witness lawsuit tossed out by judge in Milwaukee Co. John Doe investigation  (Read 745 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://rock947.com/news/articles/2013/mar/05/witness-lawsuit-tossed-out-by-judge-in-milwaukee-co-john-doe-investigation/

Witness lawsuit tossed out by judge in Milwaukee Co. John Doe investigation
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 2:17 p.m. CST by Terry Lee


RICE LAKE, WI (WTAQ) - A judge in northwest Wisconsin has thrown out a lawsuit against a Milwaukee prosecutor in connection with the Walker John Doe probe.

Christopher Brekken, a Harley-Davidson dealer in Rice Lake, said he was essentially the victim of false imprisonment when prosecutor Bruce Landgraf subpoenaed him.

Landgraf was looking for records of credit card purchases from Brekken’s dealership. Brekken said he tried to produce those records but couldn’t.

The assistant DA then obtained a warrant to make the dealer drive almost 300 miles to Milwaukee and testify about his efforts. But Brekken objected, and said Landgraf had a vendetta against him because he hung up the phone when Landgraf first asked for the credit data.

The John Doe ended last week, after four ex-Milwaukee County aides to Governor Scott Walker were convicted along with two others.

Landgraf claimed he was not properly served with Brekken’s suit – but Barron County Judge Timothy Doyle said Landgraf had immunity anyway, because he was doing his job as a state prosecutor.

When Walker was the Milwaukee County executive, he took an annual Harley ride throughout Wisconsin to promote his home county’s attractions.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/even-barron-county-judge-called-john-doe-probe-of-scott-walkers-staff-political-b9992399z1-222894631.html

Even Barron County judge called John Doe probe of Scott Walker's staff political
Prosecutor disputes characterization, says subpoena was tied to appointee, not Scott Walker

Plenty of Republicans have suggested that the now-closed John Doe investigation of Gov. Scott Walker's staffers was driven by politics.

Now they have some company.

A recent court filing shows that then-Barron County Judge Timothy Doyle — a Democratic appointee — had harsh words to say about the secret probe and its lead prosecutor, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf.

"Well, the underlying circumstances here are unfortunate," Doyle said in a March hearing regarding a lawsuit over a subpoena in the investigation.

"Obviously, a lot of what happened here was politically motivated and not — the conduct described is nothing that we as Wisconsinites should be proud of, bottom line," the judge continued. "Mr. Landgraf was behaving badly, probably for political reasons."

Landgraf, in response, said the judge had been misled on important details of the long-running John Doe probe.

"I have no doubt that Judge Doyle, had he been properly informed, would not have made the comments that he made about my character," the veteran prosecutor said.

To make his point, Landgraf got the permission of retired Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim, who oversaw the John Doe investigation, to release two previously sealed subpoenas.

Those documents confirm that the portion of the investigation under review by the Barron County judge had little to do directly with the first-term GOP governor or politics. Instead, prosecutors were focusing on the actions of a onetime Walker appointee accused of stealing from a veterans group.

It's surprising that Nettesheim permitted Landgraf to release the subpoenas. In general, Nettesheim has tried to keep the John Doe records under wraps.

But Nettesheim gave the OK in this instance, thereby helping to rebut criticism of the nearly three-year investigation.

All of this is coming to a head now because Christopher Brekken, the owner of a Rice Lake Harley-Davidson dealership, is appealing the decision to throw out his lawsuit against Landgraf for his actions in one phase of the John Doe case. Brekken included Doyle's statements in his appeal.

Brekken is seeking damages for false imprisonment and abuse of process related to a 2010 subpoena for records about some credit card purchases from his dealership.

In his lawsuit, Brekken maintains that he didn't have the credit card information sought by Landgraf. The prosecutor then got a bench warrant for Brekken, who was arrested and spent several hours in jail. Brekken later came to Milwaukee to give sworn testimony that he didn't have the credit card info.

Doyle tossed the case in March because he said Brekken erred by filing his notice of claim with Milwaukee County instead of the state. Assistant district attorneys are state employees.

More interesting than the suit or the appeal — which is likely to be rejected — was the judge's discussion of the John Doe investigation. The probe led to the convictions of six individuals, including three former Walker aides, an appointee and a major campaign contributor.

"I said some things about this being politically motivated and maybe I shouldn't have said those things," the judge said toward the end of the March hearing. "But given the timing and given the underlying investigation that Mr. Landgraf was working on, I guess I felt comfortable observing that there was politics in play here, and I don't take that back."

Doyle, who retired this summer, was appointed to the court by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. He also made small donations to left-leaning ex-Appeals Court Judge Edward Brunner, who ran unsuccessfully for the state Supreme Court.

Brekken's attorney, Michael Schwartz, took Doyle's point a step further, calling this a case of "prosecutorial misconduct."

Schwartz said his client didn't have the credit card info described in the subpoena. Beginning in July 2010, Wisconsin passed tighter security standards that bar retailers from retaining the full credit card number used in purchases.

The lawyer said Landgraf flexed his legal muscle and had Brekken arrested because their first phone conversation ended badly.

"He was pissed because Chris Brekken hung up on him," Schwartz said.

Not at all, Landgraf responded.

"I never had any contact of any kind with Mr. Brekken before he appeared at the John Doe hearing," Landgraf said via email. "The claim that I requested a warrant for his arrest because he was rude to me is utterly unfounded."

What's more, Landgraf said the judge was operating on erroneous information provided him by Schwartz.

The John Doe investigation — which ran for nearly three years — went in a variety of different directions, as is well known. In this case, Landgraf said he was seeking credit card purchases by Kevin Kavanaugh at Brekken's store.

Kavanaugh, a former Walker appointee, was sentenced to two years behind bars for stealing more than $51,000 from money donated to help veterans and their families.

Prosecutors said Kavanaugh had skimmed the money from bank deposits and phony withdrawals from accounts for the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a veterans service organization.

Many had assumed that Milwaukee County prosecutors were asking about items bought by Walker at the Harley dealership. Walker took annual motorcycle tours around Wisconsin, including trips in 2009 and 2010 when he was running for governor.

Landgraf said the subpoena had nothing to do with political figures or Wisconsin politics and Brekken and his attorney had no reason to think that it did. A simple Google search, Landgraf said, would have enlightened both about Kavanaugh, whose conviction and sentencing received substantial coverage.

Had Brekken cooperated by explaining he didn't have the records, Landgraf said he is certain Brekken would have been released from his subpoena. But that didn't happen.

Landgraf said the retired Barron County judge should take a second look at what he said on the record now that all the details on the matter have been made public.

"I am confident that, if and when he becomes familiar with what really happened between Mr. Brekken and me, he will reconsider his statements," Landgraf said.

How could the prosecutor be so sure of himself?

Because his boss, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, called the retired judge at his home in New Mexico to complain.

"He was not happy with my comments," Doyle said Sunday.

Doyle said he isn't sure Chisholm is justified in his objections. Unable to recall exactly what he said, the former judge said he based his remarks on the plaintiff's suit. He wants to go back and read the transcript of the March hearing before saying anything further.

"I'm getting more attention now that I'm retired than I did when I was on the bench," he said.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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This entire thing was union-driven/Democrat-driven political witch hunt.... trying to bring down Scott Walker.  Almost everyone at the District Attorney's office signed the Scott Walker recall petition and the Asst. DA's wife is a Milwaukee Schools Union Rep.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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http://watchdog.org/116524/john-doe-landgraf/

Vendetta justice? Criticism growing about John Doe prosecutor Bruce Landgraf

By M.D. Kittle 

Part 9 of 29 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis.  — Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf was so obsessed with going after the target of a secret John Doe investigation that he was willing to jail an innocent man.


POLITICAL PROSECUTOR?: Critics accuse Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf of bringing politics into secret John Doe probes targeting conservatives.

That’s what the attorney for a Rice Lake Harley-Davidson dealer contends three years after Christopher Brekken spent the better part of a day in jail for failing to comply with the investigation’s court-ordered subpoena — a subpoena that would have forced Brekken to violate state law.

“I’ve been practicing law for 34 years this week, and this is just as egregious an abuse of prosecutorial power as I’ve ever seen,” said Michael Schwartz, Brekken’s Minnesota-based attorney.

Brekken’s experience with Landgraf illustrates what critics have said about Landgraf’s role in the newest Democrat-led investigation of Wisconsin conservatives: Driven by arrogance and a driving belief that the end justifies the means, he’s willing to flout the law he is sworn to defend.

The Wisconsin judge who earlier this year ruled on Brekken’s lawsuit against Landgraf harshly criticized the prosecutor, asserting Landgraf was “behaving badly, probably for political reasons.”

Despite that, the judge dismissed the case on technical grounds, so Brekken is appealing. He’s seeking unspecified damages for false imprisonment and abuse of process.

Landgraf, who helped run at least two politically driven John Doe cases during the past three and a half years, says Brekken got what was coming to him, that his day in jail was the price he paid for thumbing his nose at a lawful subpoena.

And besides, the prosecutor said, investigators ultimately got their man – not Brekken, but Kevin Kavanaugh, a one-time customer at Brekken’s motorcycle dealership.

Kavanaugh, a former appointee of Gov. Scott Walker, when Walker was Milwaukee County executive, was eventually convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for pilfering more than $51,000 from a county program designed to help veterans and their families.

Landgraf is unapologetic about jailing Brekken.

“What difference does it make?” Landgraf shrugged. “We ultimately got the information and the details we needed.”

To catch a thief

Ironically, it was Walker’s office that first brought concerns about bookkeeping practices at the veterans program to the district attorney’s attention.

Critics say Landgraf and his boss, Democrat District Attorney John Chisholm, seized on Walker’s concerns as an opportunity to attack Walker and fellow conservatives.

And, the critics say, Landgraf and Chisholm ended up producing collateral damage among innocent people — people like Christopher Brekken.

In the course of their probe, investigators learned that Kavanaugh had used a credit card on July 24, 2010, to make purchases totaling $107.26 from Brekken’s Harley-Davidson shop.
Nettesheim

Nettesheim

According to Schwartz and court records, retired Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim, who presided over the John Doe probe, issued a Sept. 22, 2010, subpoena seeking copies of records “detailing the full credit card number” Kavanaugh used for the retail purchase. Satisfying that request would violate state privacy laws, as well as credit card association regulations.

Landgraf says Brekken didn’t bother to respond, that he “thumbed his nose” at the subpoena.

Schwartz said the prosecutor contacted Brekken via phone, and the businessman said he had no intention of giving out a customer’s credit card number, that he didn’t care who Landgraf was. Then he hung up on the prosecutor.  That “ticked off” Landgraf, Schwartz said.

Landgraf disputes that. He told Wisconsin Reporter he had no contact with Brekken before the day of the arrest.

At 7 a.m. on Oct. 19, 2010, the Barron County sheriff showed up at the Rice Lake dealership and arrested Brekken on a bench warrant.

Schwartz said his client sat in jail long after he had faxed investigators basic and allowable information about the credit card. Landgraf apparently wasn’t satisfied. He wanted the credit card number.

“He said, ‘You get us this credit card information and we’ll get your client out of jail,’” Schwartz said.

Here’s the problem: Retailers, by law, cannot retain their customers’ full credit card information.

“(Landgraf’s) response was that my client should put pressure on his bank or his credit card company and get it for me. Our response was that, by law, we can’t have it. Landgraf’s response was, ‘Figure out a way to get it,’” Schwartz said.

The assistant district attorney disputes the account, but the subpoena and the warrant clearly state the prosecutor’s demand for the credit card information.

A state law in effect months before Brekken received the subpoena bars retailers from maintaining credit card numbers — a law designed to limit access to, and fraudulent use of, the account information. The credit card industry has had safeguard practices in place for several years. Those Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards include fines of up to $100,000 per month to retailers who don’t comply, and offenders can be held financially responsible for fraud.

Schwartz said Landgraf, as an assistant DA, should have been familiar with the law.

Landgraf said the law had only been on the books for a short time, but he stopped short of saying that he did not know the law, and said he could not speak to what the other prosecutors in the probe knew.

He brushed off questions about whether prosecutors and the judge ignored the state’s credit card law.

“The point is Mr. Brekken was in possession of valuable information to the investigation, he was issued a subpoena seeking that information … and he thumbed his nose at the John Doe judge,” Landgraf said.

Brekken was released from jail after he agreed to testify in a secret proceeding in Milwaukee County court — five hours away. In the end, Schwartz said, Brekken provided only the information he had already offered Landgraf.

No matter, said Landgraf. His investigators ultimately followed Schwartz’s advice, tracking the credit card information through Kavanaugh’s credit card issuer.

Kavanaugh was one of six people convicted in what some now call John Doe One, the Democrat-led Milwaukee County DA’s wide-ranging investigation into Walker’s former aides and associates during his days as Milwaukee County executive.

Brekken ultimately sued Landgraf. Barron County Judge Timothy Doyle in March ruled on the jurisdiction of the case. He called the “underlying circumstances” of Brekken’s lawsuit “unfortunate.”

“Obviously, a lot of what happened here was politically motivated and not — the conduct described is nothing that we as Wisconsinites should be proud of, bottom line,” the judge said in a court filing. “Mr. Landgraf was behaving badly, probably for political reasons.”

Doyle did, however, throw out the litigation, ruling that because assistant district attorneys are state employees, Brekken’s notice of claim should have been filed with the state, not in Milwaukee County. Brekken has appealed.

And while he softened his stance by the conclusion of the hearing, the judge said, “Given the timing and given the underlying investigation that Mr. Landgraf was working on, I guess I felt comfortable observing that there was politics in play here, and I don’t take that back.”

Doyle, appointed to the court by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, retired this past summer and moved out of state.

He could not be reached for comment.

‘Unfortunate’

Brekken’s lawsuit and its charges of prosecutorial abuse come as conservatives raise questions about the latest politically charged John Doe investigation pushed by Landgraf and Chisholm.

In the most recent case, Chisholm and Landgraf have targeted state conservatives and even such national groups as Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and the Republican Governors Association, multiple sources have told Wisconsin Reporter. The latest Doe, sources say, began in early 2012, even as Landgraf and crew were working on John Doe One, and two and a half years after Landgraf had jailed Brekken on the way to seeking Kavanaugh’s arrest.

Though gagged by provisions of subpoenas sought by Landgraf and others, several sources have told Wisconsin Reporter the manifold legal attack on nonprofit political organizations has included after-hours visits to homes and offices; confiscated equipment and files; and demands for phone, email and other records. The sources have asked to remain anonymous due to their proximity to the investigation or to people connected to it.

Late last month, Wisconsin Reporter learned that subpoenas issued in the probe required responses “in person or in writing” from “about 100 people” by Oct. 29. A court hearing was postponed after the presiding judge in the case recused herself.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke has blasted the secret investigations as politically motivated, “unbridled,” “dangerous,” and “tainted.”

Landgraf told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in September that Doyle had not been properly informed. If he had been, Doyle would not have “made the comments that he made about my character,” the prosecutor said.

Landgraf asked Nettesheim, the judge in John Doe One, to open the previously sealed subpoenas, showing the focus was on Kavanaugh, not on Walker.

Chisholm, according to the Journal-Sentinel, apparently called the retired judge at his home in New Mexico to complain.

But insisting that politics didn’t touch the investigation is naïve or disingenuous, critics insist. The secret probe certainly didn’t happen in a vacuum. There were countless leaks. Those leaks led to wild speculation, including rumors that Walker was a target of the investigation. And all of that information, much of it untrue, was pumped out as an angry Democratic Party of Wisconsin campaigned to throw the governor and several Republican senators out of office in the state’s spate of recall elections.

While Schwartz has said he believes political motives played a part, he said Landgraf’s conduct raises serious questions about basic government overreach.

“This,” he said, “is a classic example of prosecutorial abuse.”

Contact M.D. Kittle at mkittle@watchdog.org
Part of 29 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War

    Sources: Secret probe targeting conservatives is abuse of prosecutorial powers
    Scary! Phantom prosecutor in Dems’ war on conservatives disappears inside courthouse
    EXCLUSIVE: Judge in Democrat-led John Doe probe recuses herself
    Democrats’ ‘intelligence-gathering’ spreads in Wisconsin
    Democrats tap anti-terror expert to head secret probe of Wisconsin conservatives
    Sheriff Clarke: John Doe case shows Milwaukee DA is ‘weaponized for political purposes’
    Clarke: John Doe into conservatives ‘unbridled,’ ‘dangerous’ and ‘tainted’
    Sources: New judge named in Democrat-led secret probe
    Vendetta justice? Criticism growing about John Doe prosecutor Bruce Landgraf
    Will Wisconsin’s own ‘Miserable’ inspector jail conservative activist for speaking out about Dem probe?
    Conservative targets bring in big guns to Democrat-led John Doe fight
    ‘Dangerous’ game: Former FEC official blasts Democrats’ secret investigation of conservative groups
    Center for Media and Democracy: Liberals are morally superior
    Wisconsin Dems suddenly support political investigations
    WI Republican attorney general to represent judges in Democrat-led John Doe probe
    Republicans speak out about silent John Doe targeting conservatives
    Biggest secret in John Doe may be just how judges and special prosecutors are selected
    WSJ: John Doe judge deals body blow to secret probe targeting conservatives
    Vos: Wait until John Doe in ‘rearview mirror’ before revisiting law
    Lawsuits looming in Wisconsin’s crumbling John Doe probe?
    Conservative to Democrat prosecutors: Shut down secret political probe or face civil rights lawsuit
    John Doe target O’Keefe taking on IRS, too
    Lawmaker: Wisconsin’s John Doe like Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’
    Target files civil rights lawsuit against Wisconsin’s John Doe prosecutors
    Disparate treatment: Civil rights lawsuit claims conservative speech trampled
    Liberal group looking to take Wisconsin’s John Doe national
    John Doe judge: ‘Results of the John Doe speak for themselves’
    John Doe special prosecutor appeals judge’s ruling quashing subpoenas
    John Doe prosecutor pushed for brain-damaged man’s conviction in ATF debacle
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online Oceander

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unless wisconsin law by statute gives brekken recourse against landgraf the case will get chucked for the simple reason that prosecutors have virtually blanket immunity from suit for their conduct, even where that conduct is willful and intentionally malicious.

Offline Rapunzel

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He went after WI Club for Growth, too.. They just filed a lawsuit...........

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/wisconsin-club-for-growth-sues-to-shut-down-john-doe-investigation-b99202093z1-244738571.html

Wisconsin Club for Growth sues to shut down John Doe investigation
By Patrick Marley and Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel   
Feb. 10, 2014

    Wisconsin Club for Growth sues to shut down current John Doe investigation
    PDF: Read a redacted version of the lawsuit
    Daniel Bice: Rindfleisch, O'Keefe identified as subjects in current John Doe probe
    Rindfleisch declines records review, paving way for release in previous Doe case
    PDF: Read the court's decision to release documents in the previous Doe case

Madison — A conservative group and one of its directors sued a judge and prosecutors Monday in federal court in an attempt to shut down a secret investigation of campaign fundraising and spending in Wisconsin's recent recall elections.

In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and the group's treasurer, Eric O'Keefe, argue the probe violates their rights to free speech, free assembly and equal protection under the law.

The civil rights lawsuit asks the court to block prosecutors from continuing the John Doe probe, relieve O'Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth from having to cooperate with it, and order prosecutors to pay them compensatory damages for violating their constitutional rights.

Some of what they are seeking has been blacked out, as have other long sections of the 76-page complaint they filed because of secrecy orders issued in the probe.

"This secret investigation and gag order on conservative activists is intended to stop their political successes in Wisconsin," O'Keefe said in a statement. "The state cannot be allowed to silence political speech it does not like."

The suit before U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa came the same day a state appeals court ordered the unsealing of thousands of documents in a related, earlier investigation of aides to Gov. Scott Walker. Those records are to become available next week.

Named as defendants in Monday's suit are Reserve Judge Gregory A. Peterson, who is overseeing the investigation; special prosecutor Francis Schmitz; Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm; Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf; Assistant District Attorney David Robles; and investigator Dean Nickel.

Chisholm did not return a phone call and Peterson declined comment Monday. Schmitz also declined comment, in part because he said he had not yet seen an uncensored copy of the lawsuit.

The suit portrays the ongoing investigation, as well as the years-long probe that preceded it, as out of control and fueled by political bias. It accuses the prosecutors of engaging in "intimidating behavior and harassment."

It is the second attempt to ask a court to halt the probe. Three unnamed petitioners asked the state Court of Appeals in November to stop the investigationon technical grounds, but the three-judge panel last month unanimously declined to do so.
Allegations of leaking

Sources have said prosecutors are looking at whether groups such as the Wisconsin Club for Growth coordinated illegally with GOP candidates during the 2011 and 2012 recall races. In the most prominent contest, Walker in June 2012 became the first governor in the nation's history to win a recall election.

John Doe probes allow prosecutors to compel people to produce documents and give testimony, as well as bar them from talking publicly about the investigation. They are overseen by judges — in this case primarily by Peterson. Before him, another reserve judge was in charge of the case, and judges in five counties also have had small roles in the probe.

This is the second probe started by Chisholm that focuses on conservatives. The first John Doe investigation, which closed in 2013 after nearly three years, led to criminal convictions of six individuals, including three former Walker aides, an appointee and a major campaign contributor.

O'Keefe's lawsuit contends the initial probe was "begun on pretextual grounds" and "grew into an ongoing audit of the Walker campaigns, allowing prosecutors an inside track to scrutinize actions of Walker staffers as they were taken, despite that they were unrelated to the original purported purpose of the investigation."

It alleges Chisholm has leaked information to embarrass Walker and shape public opinion and says he launched the initial investigation to influence the 2010 election.

"Within three years it had become the basis for a statewide probe into virtually every conservative independent organization involved in Wisconsin politics," writes O'Keefe's attorney, David Rivkin of Washington, D.C.

The Wisconsin Club for Growth "has been sidelined entirely and has ceased all First Amendment protected activity" because of the investigation, according to the lawsuit.

The club nonetheless continues to maintain a website and publish a weekly newsletter critical of President Barack Obama.

The suit notes the club is focused on issue advocacy and does not specifically urge the public to vote for or against particular candidates. That distinction is important in matters of campaign finance law because groups that make such pleas are subject to greater regulation.

But the lawsuit also contends "conservative independent social welfare organizations" like the club contributed to the success of Republicans who took over state government with the November 2010 elections.
Active in five counties

The latest probe, started in September 2012, ran largely quietly until recently, when the unnamed petitioners asked the Court of Appeals to halt the probe. That resulted in filings and the unsealing of investigative documents that showed Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen last year declined a request to lead the probe. They also revealed the probe arose at least in part out of the earlier secret investigation in Milwaukee County; includes five targets; centers on campaign finance laws; and has proceeded with the help of prosecutors from both political parties.

The latest probe has been active in Milwaukee, Dane, Dodge, Iowa and Columbia counties.

While the state Court of Appeals has allowed the investigation to continue, prosecutors face significant challenges. Last month Peterson — the judge overseeing the probe — issued a secret order quashing subpoenas against conservative groups supporting Walker, dealing investigators a setback, sources told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Wall Street Journal's opinion page reported last month it had obtained a copy of the ruling and that the judge wrote he was quashing the subpoenas because they "do not show probable cause that the moving parties committed any violations of the campaign finance laws."

The quashed subpoenas were sent to Walker's campaign, business lobbying group Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Citizens for a Strong America, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The paper reported that Peterson rejected the prosecution's theory of illegal coordination between the groups and Walker's campaign. Prosecutors did not show that the groups expressly advocated for Walker's election, the story quotes Peterson as ruling.
Funds running out?

Last week, a lead prosecutor in the case filed paperwork in state court indicating someone with the initials E.S.O. was at the heart of the investigation. Sources confirmed Monday that's a reference to O'Keefe.

In a declaration accompanying Monday's lawsuit, O'Keefe describes his evolution from a libertarian political operative to a conservative activist who has served on the boards of a score of groups.

In addition, O'Keefe described the role of Republican strategist R.J. Johnson as a longtime adviser to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Johnson is a consultant for both Walker and the club and has hinted he is a focus of the investigation.

Johnson, O'Keefe writes in his declaration, serves "as a vendor who oversaw the creation of (the group's) advertisements and as an adviser as to which organizations (the group) should fund."

O'Keefe writes that Wisconsin Club for Growth has spent down most of its funds and had to cancel fundraising and issue ad campaigns because of the investigation.

"My communication with my national network has dramatically changed, and many people I previously dealt with apparently do not want to email, phone, or meet personally with me about political issues," he writes.

O'Keefe and the group, however, have been able to obtain prominent, high-priced legal counsel to defend against the probe and go on the offensive against investigators. O'Keefe's lead attorney is assisting with the liquidation of Bernie Madoff's investment company, has represented former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and helped former President George H.W. Bush develop his deregulation plans, according to a biography of Rivkin on his firm's website.

Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.




“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Too few here and elsewhere in the country realize there is a war being waged in WI, the recall election was only the tip of the iceberg, the Democrats are - and will - use every single weapon they can muster to take back WI..... never mind the good Scott Walker has done for that state.  He has been MUCH more successful a governor than loud mouth Christie in NJ,
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

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There's a difference between what Brekken is suing for and what the WCG is suing for.  Brekken is suing the prosecutor in the DA's personal capacity to recover damages for a civil tort - false imprisonment and abuse of process - the WCG is not.

Offline Rapunzel

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There's a difference between what Brekken is suing for and what the WCG is suing for.  Brekken is suing the prosecutor in the DA's personal capacity to recover damages for a civil tort - false imprisonment and abuse of process - the WCG is not.

Yes, but this is all because of the John Doe - "Scott Walker" witch hunt in WI... that is the common thread.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776


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