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Revealed: Wisconsin John Doe investigation was full-blown anti-conservative fishing expedition

Revealed: Wisconsin John Doe investigation was full-blown anti-conservative fishing expedition

We are in a dangerous place when prosecutors can identify the target first, and then try to find a crime.

We’ve covered the abusive anti-conservative Wisconsin “John Doe” proceedings many times before.

The short story is that two separate proceedings were commenced under the auspices of Democratic District Attorneys in order to try to take down Scott Walker.

John Doe No. 1 concerned Walker’s time as County Executive and ended without finding any wrongdoing by Walker himself.

John Doe No. 2 concerned Walker’s time as Governor and recall election.   Both a state court judge and a federal judge found that even if everything the investigators claimed was true, it was not illegal.  This John Doe No. 2 resulted in a federal lawsuit by two of the targets alleging that the investigators violated the targets’ constitutional rights.

Some documents released Friday by the federal Court of Appeals reveal just how abusive this John Doe No. 2 was.  

The investigators conducted a widespread fishing expedition through the otherwise private records of numerous conservative activists, as described by M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Reporter, who has followed the case more closely than anyone (h/t Instapundit):

‘Retaliation’: Docs show state prosecutors’ launched mini-NSA probe of state conservatives

Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a  massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

Subpoenas also demanded the conservatives’ bank records, “emails from every major private email provider” and other information in what some have described as a mini-NSA (National Security Agency) operation in Wisconsin.

“In fact, Defendants’ submissions confirm and expand upon the scope and intensity of retaliation previously demonstrated,” O’Keefe’s attorney wrote in documents ordered unsealed by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The documents raise serious concerns about the tactics of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, two of his assistant DAs and others involved in the investigation targeting dozens of conservatives.

We are in a dangerous place when prosecutors can identify the target first, and then try to find a crime.

Hey Wisconsin conservatives.  You’re not paranoid, Democrats really are out to get you.

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“You’re not paranoid, Democrats really are out to get you.”

And, as with Perry and many others, WILL use any means…fair and foul…to make it happen.

Collectivists HATE democracy. (See the period?)

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | August 25, 2014 at 12:22 am

    “I’ll see your Democracy and raise you an (implied) ‘everything’!”

    Collectivists HATE. (See the period?)

    MattMusson in reply to Ragspierre. | August 25, 2014 at 9:05 am

    10 Years ago I would have bet money that the American people would rise up and storm the palace if govt employees deliberately trampled the rights of the citizens. I thought people would be outraged by tyranny.

    Stupid me.

      Phillep Harding in reply to MattMusson. | August 25, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      Read Eric Hoffer on that subject.

      Few revolt while oppression is getting worse. Most revolutions happen when oppression is being reduced.

      That’s what 20-30 years worth of watering down “civics” in High School gets you. They’ve stopped teaching basic principles of the Civil Society: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Association, Right to Bear Arms, Freedom from UNREASONABLE Search and Seizure, Due Process, State’s Rights and Personal Rights.

      Instead, those classes have been renamed “Social Studies” and now focus on collective thought, cult of persona and socialist/communist/progressive movement leaders, lack of objective truth (unless you don’t agree with their point of view, then you’re wrong by their standards), moral relativism, and a “if it feels good, do it” mentality.

      The Educators, via the progressives, have trained two, if not now three, generations of what I call “Sheeple.” They bleat and blindly follow, and almost never even think about resisting the flow, let alone actually attempting to resist.

And, Collectivists fear the truth so they must destroy the truth carrying messengers by ANY means. The ends justify the means.

I’d shoot these prosecutors … because by their rules, the ends justify the means. Payback is a beotch.

    MarkS in reply to walls. | August 25, 2014 at 5:55 am

    They need to suffer some consequence

      That’s the point of the Civil Rights lawsuit. It likely names the individuals personally in addition to their “official” capacities.

      An example needs to be made. Further, the plaintiffs should be filing complaints with the Wisconsin Bar regarding the DA and assistant DA’s law licenses. You want to put the fear of God into the DA’s offices, start attacking licenses for their actions. You bag so much as ONE of them, and this foolishness will stop REAL quick.

      RickCaird in reply to MarkS. | August 25, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      That is exactly right. As long as there is no punishment for these actions, they will continue. The prosecutors who lied about Ted Stevens, therefore enabling ObamaCare, suffered nothing for withholding evidence. The should have been disbarred, lose their law licenses, convicted of ethics violations, incarcerated for a hefty period of time, lost a huge civil suit, and turned into examples for future transgressors. That would end all this nonsense.

    MattMusson in reply to walls. | August 25, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Another reason why I cannot own a rifle with a scope.

American ‘liberalism’ is a fascist movement, stocked high with an amazing number of ‘adolescent’ useful idiots of all ages.

Remember Woody Allen’s suggestion then-outrageous suggestion in 2010: “[I]t would be good…if [Obama]could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly,” said Allen, who was accused of routinely putting his thumb in Dylan Farrow’s mouth and making her sleep under the covers with him while he was in his underwear…”

It’s 2014, and Allen’s crazy idea is commonly accepted among liberals in the ‘cult.’

Put a swastika on the likes of Allen and send him back to 1932 Germany, where he and his ilk would fit right in — though he being Jewish, and Obama being black, would both find themselves in concentration camps, where the idea of fascism would not seem so appealing.

The short story is that two separate proceedings were commenced under the auspices of Democratic District Attorneys in order to try to take down Scott Walker.

You mean like what’s happening to Perry in Texas?

Where is the Checks and Balance against this abuse of prosecutorial power?

    Milhouse in reply to Aucturian. | August 25, 2014 at 6:09 am

    No, not like Perry. In Perry’s case, none of the facts are in dispute, and thus there was no investigation. McCrum didn’t have to find evidence of what Perry did, it was in all the papers. There was no need to subpoena any records, spy on anyone, or harass anyone. All he did was come up with a novel interpretation of the law to criminalize it.

    In Walker’s case, Walker to this day denies that he did what the prosecutors suspect him of. Never mind that there’s no law against it, so if he had done it there would still be no case, which is why the judge shut it down; Walker says that — legal or not — he didn’t do it. Accordingly, the investigation focused entirely on trying to find evidence that he did do it, as well as trying to put such a burden on supporters like O’Keefe as to deter anyone else from supporting him. I’m not sure the prosecutors even realised the behaviour they were looking for is legal. I think it likely that they honestly assumed it was illegal, and therefore tried to cook up a case that he had done it. I think if they’d realised that the law didn’t say what they assumed it did, they’d not have wasted their time trying to pin this non-crime on him, and instead would have tried to frame him for some actual crime.

Midwest Rhino | August 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm

And “the invasive process of probing for the non-existent crime” is itself damaging. So therefore, criminal?

Wasn’t part of the intent to cause that damage? When Lois Lerner told the Dick Durbin competitor that her investigation would stop if he agreed to never run for office … the process itself was criminal. Wasn’t it? He and his brother were lawyers and refused then won, but lost the election under the cloud of “investigated by the (Lerner beach) IRS”.

The process of delaying a couple hundred tea party groups from getting their status was criminal (I know, it has to be proven). They were not refused, just delayed … forever. Damage done … Obama reelected. Strangely, some noble honest Americans had other agencies doing the anal probes, it would seem because they dared resist “the mob”.

But it is not just selective prosecution, the bigger issue would seem to be the process itself is crippling, which is the intent. They don’t care if they don’t find a crime, their mission is to use the process, and the thugs in the system, to cripple their opponents.

They can’t say “well if you are clean what is the problem with our rectal probe being electrified” .. because the process itself does the damage, and sends a message to any that don’t “respect my athoratee”, as Cartman would say.

Here is an American hero. Those that used government to threaten this women should be in prison.

    Sanddog in reply to Midwest Rhino. | August 25, 2014 at 2:46 am

    My personal belief is that prison is too lenient for a representative of the government who willfully violates the rights of the citizens they serve. It’s a heinous, unforgivable crime.

The problem is not that the investigation was conducted.

It’s that there have been ZERO consequences for these unbelievable abuses of power.

Lawsuits? Great, they’ll throw them some taxpayer money as a settlement. What do they care? It’s not their money.

Just like the VA bullshit. People DIED there. I have yet to hear about a single person filing those false reports so much as losing their job, much less being the subject of criminal negligence proceedings.

Again, they’ll just throw the affected some taxpayer money as a settlement and business as usual.

Until thugs in government are held PERSONALLY LIABLE these things will continue.

    This is why it is important to both name individuals PERSONALLY in the lawsuits, and then to follow up with BAR GRIEVANCES with the local (state) licensing commission.

    Bonus if you can make the DA’s, during the testimony on the “civil” matter, admit to Felony actions. That’s usually instant disbarment.

DINORightMarie | August 24, 2014 at 11:11 pm

“The documents raise serious concerns about the tactics of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, two of his assistant DAs and others involved in the investigation targeting dozens of conservatives.”

Along the line of thinking of @olinser, above…..

What consequences are there for the DA and assistant DAs if this is proven in court? Can they be be disbarred, fined, or just merely lose their jobs (which will be like a badge to these crooks)?

I hope that they do time, are disbarred, and/or fined – whatever the maximum punishment can be for such horrid lawfare, such heinous abuse of their power and positions!

Thanks, Professor, for keeping us up to date on what’s happened with this incident – there are so many, it’s impossible to keep them all in focus…….

    It depends on the nature of the crime committed. If the Civil Rights abuse in question can be shown to be a Felony, it is usually disbarment offense.

    If it is merely a misdemeanor, the likelihood is that these idiots will simply lose their jobs. Now the process for that will be a strange one, as likely a “special prosecutor” will have to be brought in from outside of the DA’s office (as it makes no sense for an office to prosecute its own members for undertaking an action explicitly at the direction of the elected District Attorney).

    As noted above, it’s important to name the individuals PERSONALLY in any Civil Rights lawsuit so that personal assets can be attached. Even if they have “legal insurance” policies against being named, the Insurance companies will come back and get their pound of flesh from the individuals.

If a prosecutor has absolute immunity for withholding evidence mere abuse of process will have no consequence for them.

    And that is why they only have “Qualified Immunity.” Any action which violates Civil Rights falls outside of the “immunity” granted, and opens the individual to personal suit for the violation.

TrooperJohnSmith | August 25, 2014 at 12:24 am

In the pantheon of Left/Liberal Supreheroes [sic], I suspect that Saul Alinsky passed Karl Marx a while back, and is gaining ground on Mao.

Connivin Caniff | August 25, 2014 at 6:01 am

It has become clear over the years that civil immunity for prosecutors, police and judges, and indemnity or insurance protection provided for them by the relevant governmental entities, are truly against public policy and should be banned, at least for willful violation of the civil and procedural rights of citizens. Also, prosecutors always are enthusiastic about mandatory minimums: how about a five-year mandatory sentence for a prosecutor who willfully withholds evidence from a defendant, or willfully violates civil rights or acts in bad faith in the exercise of his or her enormous powers? Too harsh? Look at the rules the rest of us have to live under.

    Mandatory 5-year prison sentences for prosecutors convicted of willful abuse of office? I like it. The only thing I’d add would be a lifetime bar from practicing law as well.

    Indeed, here, where prosecutors issued multiple subpoenas with full knowledge that they’re not supported by probable cause (see, I’d like their multiple mandatory 5-year prison terms, and lifetime bars on practicing law, to run *consecutively*. That’s a sentence even an elected Democrat might understand.

      A “Brady” violation for withholding “exculpatory evidence” from a defendant is an ethical violation in every US Jurisdiction, and is a Disbarment level offense with every ethics committee in every state and territory.

      Disbarment is usually a minimum 5 year period, and often the individual is REQUIRED to take the Bar Exam again for the Jurisdiction where he or she disbarred. For some of the older attorneys, that IS tantamount to a lifetime ban, because they will never be able to PASS the Bar Exam in its current form.

    Add a mandatory tar and feathering and being run out of town on a rail at the end of sentence. (h/t Instapundit)

Could the governor appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute abuses of power?

    Probably not the Governor directly, but likely the Attorney General could do it. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has been around since 2007, but I do not know where his loyalties lie, as he attended University of Wisconsin Law School, and was Bayfield County’s only elected Republican.

    From his State AG bio:

    “During a time when partisan politics has increasingly polarized the people of Wisconsin, Van Hollen has kept focused on enforcing and following the laws as written without regard to the underlying political and public policy debates. Professionally reasoned legal advice and client representation is now a hallmark of the Department’s work.”

Janitor, Apparently is is illegal in some circles to even discuss holding the Patron Saints of the Democrat Party (malicious prosecutors) accountable for their misconduct.

Just ask Rick Perry.

Henry Hawkins | August 25, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I smell a whole covey of Mike Nifongs.

Considering the kind of collusion going on (remember the Google chatroom for the 1000 liberals, including members of the press?), this probably had outside involvement.

Democrats are increasingly looking like a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.

Standard operating procedure. The situation involving Rick Perry is nearly identical.

The democrat party nationwide has devolved into a tyrannical, criminal, racketeering enterprise that should be subject to RICO statutes. They wield the power of government as a weapon against citizens and are no better than party operatives in the old Soviet Union.

Grand Old Partier | August 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm

To paraphrase a line from Tom Wolfe’s “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide to America; “The dark night of fascism is always descending in the Republican Party and yet lands only in the Democratic Party.”