Court asked to keep documents secret in John Doe


DE PERE – New court documents are revealing more details about the secret investigation involving Governor Walker’s 2012 recall campaign.

However, those documents weren’t supposed to be released.

More than 1,300 pages of court documents were released by a federal court late Friday. But that was a mistake, and the documents are no longer available on the court’s website.

Attorneys for two un-named individuals said the documents revealed private information about people, who they said, have done nothing wrong.

The documents are part of a secret investigation into whether Walker’s campaign illegally coordinated with political groups before the June 2012 recall election.

Walker has not been charged in the so-called John Doe investigation, and his current campaign said the governor is not a target of the probe.

During a campaign stop in De Pere Monday afternoon, Walker said the newly released documents do not tell the whole story.

“I think that the more that you see selective information coming out at certain times in certain ways, I think it’s pretty clear it’s part of a political witch hunt to try and confuse the voters,” said Walker.

The probe was put on hold by a federal judge in May, but prosecutors want a federal appeals court in Chicago to allow the investigation to continue.

“The people who have looked at all of the information, not the selected pieces that have been let out, but all the information, are two judges,” said Walker.

Court documents released Friday show prosecutors believe Walker solicited donations for the group, Wisconsin Club For Growth. They said he did this to get around campaign finance limits.

However, Walker told a Milwaukee newspaper Saturday, he helped raise money for Wisconsin Club for Growth in 2011 primarily to help Republican state senators who also faced recalls.

The documents also reveal some of the groups that donated to Wisconsin Club for Growth. That includes Gogebic Taconite, which gave $700,000 in 2011 and 2012.

In 2013, Walker signed legislation supported by that company, regarding state mining requirements. Walker said he did not solicit money from Gogebic Taconite, but Democrats like State Rep. Eric Genrich of Green Bay have another view.

“This latest instance certainly gives one the impression of some corruption here, unfortunately,” said Genrich.

But Genrich said he is holding off on a final conclusion until he sees all of the evidence.

On Sept. 9, the appeals court will hear arguments on whether the investigation can continue.

Attorneys for the unmaed individuals asked the appeals court to keep all documents related to the case private, at least until additional briefs are filed leading up to oral arguments next month.

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