The ability of targets to access new media frightened the prosecutors commencing the anti-conservative “John Doe” investigation.
The investigators in the “John Doe” proceeding against conservative activists in Wisconsin are appealing the federal District Court’s injunction shutting down the investigation, as we previously detailed in numerous posts.
That injunction is part of a lawsuit by Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth also seeking damages and other relief directly against the investigators, who are also local prosecutors, for violating the activists’ constitutional rights.
A separate lawsuit has been filed in state court against the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
As part of the appeal in the federal case, yesterday the investigators filed a redacted copy of the original Petition for Commencement of John Doe Proceeding (full embed at bottom of post), detailing the reasons why the investigators sound the sweeping secrecy provisions of Wisconsin’s John Doe procedure.
Among the reasons was a cryptic and redacted reference to the targets of the probe having “well placed” ties to the blogoshpere (transcription via Wisconsin State Journal):
“I believe it is reasonable to expect that any public filing about the existence of this investigation will generate substantial publicity, both from traditional (e.g., print and broadcast journalism) and non-traditional (e.g. Internet blog) information sources. This is because the individuals involved in this investigation are well-placed,” it reads.
The rest of that sentence was blacked out and was not visible in public court records.
Here’s the relevant portion of the Petition (highlighting added, redaction in original):
I think new media has arrived when the government is more afraid of the blogosphere than the blogosphere is of the government.
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