Appeals court releases more John Doe documents


GREEN BAY – On Friday, a federal appeals court released more than 1,300 pages linked to the John Doe investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups.

That recall campaign was in 2012. The John Doe investigation was put on hold in May by a federal judge.

Prosecutors had been looking into whether campaign official illegally coordinated with conservative groups on advertising and fundraising.

The investigation was put on hold after the Wisconsin Club for Growth sued the prosecutors. The lawsuit said the investigation violated the groups free speech. A federal judge agreed. But prosecutors want the appeals court to reverse that decision.

The appeals court released 1,343 pages of documents detailing the lawsuit Friday.

In those documents, the Wisconsin Club for growth said prosecutors made it difficult for the group to do its work.

That self-described conservative special interest group claimed the John Doe Investigation lead by Francis Schmitz had, “the entire conservative movement in their crosshairs.”

But in court documents, Schmitz says that is not true, saying he even voted for Walker in the recall election. Schmitz says his case is being built on evidence.

Prosecutors showed in court documents bank records in which “Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce received $2.5 million from the Wisconsin Club for Growth during the 2012 recall.”

Those payments were made around the same time that Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce paid Ten Capitol, an advertising agency which “produced and aired advertisements promoting Governor Scott Walker and criticizing Mayor Tom Barrett.”

The appeals court will hear arguments on whether the investigation can continue September ninth in Chicago.

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