The big breaking news in the “John Doe” anti-Conservative Wisconsin investigation is that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals released previously sealed court exhibits detailing accusations made at the time the Wisconsin prosecutors commenced the proceeding.

So you get screaming headlines such as these:

Headlines Scott Walker Accused of criminal scheme

What is not being reported, is that multiple judges have found that the alleged criminal conduct was not in fact criminal even if the factual allegations were true. Here is part of Federal Judge Renda’s opinion, which remains in effect halting the John Doe investigation, in a case brought by two of the targets:

The standard to apply in these cases was recently made clear by the Supreme Court in McCutcheon. Any campaign finance regulation, and any criminal prosecution resulting from the violation thereof, must target activity that results in or has the potential to result in quid pro quo corruption….

It is undisputed that O‘Keefe and the Club engage in issue advocacy, not express advocacy or its functional equivalent. Since § 11.01(16)‘s definition of political purposes must be confined to express advocacy, the plaintiffs cannot be and are not subject to Wisconsin‘s campaign finance laws by virtue of their expenditures on issue advocacy….

While the defendants deny that their investigation is motivated by animus towards the plaintiffs‘ conservative viewpoints, it is still unlawful to target the plaintiffs for engaging in vigorous advocacy that is beyond the state‘s regulatory reach….

The plaintiffs have been shut out of the political process merely by association with conservative politicians. This cannot square with the First Amendment and what it was meant to protect.

A state court judge similarly found the accusations frivolous in refusing to issue subpoenas, Big defeat for anti-conservative Wisconsin “John Doe” probe.

So the media headlines are all about the accusations — accusations which have been rejected multiple times by judges.

This is what the opposition to Walker wanted, headlines making criminal accusations.

UPDATE: Read Christian Schneider’s column in reaction to the document release, Zero evidence of a Walker “criminal scheme”:

However, missing from all these accounts was one small fact: Shortly after prosecutors made the “criminal scheme” charge, it was rejected by the presiding judge, Gregory Peterson. On Dec. 9, 2013, prosecutor Francis Schmitz filed a motion in opposition to quashing subpoenas in the case in which he made the “criminal scheme” allegation. On Jan. 10, 2014, Peterson threw out Schmitz’s motion, saying that it “failed to show probable cause that a crime had been committed.”

In fact, Peterson was only the first judge to rule against prosecutors. Last month, ruling on a lawsuit brought by the defendants, federal Judge Rudolph Randa shut down the entire investigation, issuing a sternly worded rebuke to prosecutors pursing Walker and his allies. So despite all the celebrating liberal groups were doing with the release of the documents on Thursday, few of them knew that the case is currently dead….

That is why the prosecution’s case was so weak, it resulted in exactly zero criminal charges. But fortunately for the left, they received the headlines they need to jab Walker in the upcoming election. They’ve won by losing. And rendered the justice system optional in the process.

And also Nathan Schacht, Ignore The Hype: Courts Killed The Anti-Walker Fishing Expedition Weeks Ago.

Governor Walker responded on Twitter tonight:

Twitter - Scott Walker re Prosecutor Allegations in Media June 19 2014


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