"In this case, their entire theory of probable cause was legally invalid, and it was so held by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.... They were trying to find a crime.... [T]he chief of the KGB under Stalin had a very famous quote: Find me the man, and I will find you the crime. And that's what this was. They wanted to get Scott Walker, and they spent four years looking for a crime, and that's not what's supposed to happen in this country.... This was meant to get Scott Walker. They couldn't have cared less what some conservative activist was doing unless they could pin it on Walker."* * *
"I'm a fan of his, because he just quietly went about his business and completely eviscerated the public sector union movement.
Now a longtime Chisholm subordinate reveals for the first time in this article that the district attorney may have had personal motivations for his investigation. Chisholm told him and others that Chisholm’s wife, Colleen, a teacher’s union shop steward at St. Francis high school, a public school near Milwaukee, had been repeatedly moved to tears by Walker’s anti-union policies in 2011, according to the former staff prosecutor in Chisholm’s office. Chisholm said in the presence of the former prosecutor that his wife “frequently cried when discussing the topic of the union disbanding and the effect it would have on the people involved … She took it personally.” Citing fear of retaliation, the former prosecutor declined to be identified and has not previously talked to reporters. Chisholm added, according to that prosecutor, that “he felt that it was his personal duty to stop Walker from treating people like this.”Lutz stuck to his story even after furious pushback, as reflected in this interview with Charlie Sykes:
¶133 Our lengthy discussion of these three cases can be distilled into a few simple, but important, points. It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing. In other words, the special prosecutor was the instigator of a "perfect storm" of wrongs that was visited upon the innocent Unnamed Movants and those who dared to associate with them. It is fortunate, indeed, for every other citizen of this great State who is interested in the protection of fundamental liberties that the special prosecutor chose as his targets innocent citizens who had both the will and the means to fight the unlimited resources of an unjust prosecution. Further, these brave individuals played a crucial role in presenting this court with an opportunity to re-endorse its commitment to upholding the fundamental right of each and every citizen to engage in lawful political activity and to do so free from the fear of the tyrannical retribution of arbitrary or capricious governmental prosecution. Let one point be clear: our conclusion today ends this unconstitutional John Doe investigation.Andrew Grossman, who filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case and who has served as counsel to Eric O'Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth (two of the targets of the investigation) in various federal civil rights litigation against the prosecutors, provided me with the following statement:
Today's decision puts an end to one of the worst abuses of power ever seen in Wisconsin law enforcement. The next step will be holding those responsible accountable for their actions. The Court's recognition that the John Doe was a politically motivated "dragnet" of Gov. Walker's allies provides strong support for Cindy Archer's civil rights action against the Milwaukee prosecutors and lawsuits by potentially any of the other John Doe targets.
The case is O’Keefe v. Chisholm.... The issue on which review was sought had little to do — on the surface — with the substance of the abuses in the John Doe case, but rather, focuses on a technical legal point as to whether and when federal courts can or should stop state investigations.... But, the nature of the case necessarily involves the underlying ability of states to regulate campaign coordination and how that ability interacts with First Amendment rights.While the Court will not hear the case, the underlying investigation currently is on hold anyway because of a separate federal court order not involved in the Supreme Court petition, and a state court order putting the investigation on hold. Here is the Supreme Court Order:
Supreme Court holds cert. petition in Wisconsin John Doe challenge.— Andrew M. Grossman (@andrewmgrossman) April 27, 2015
The case is O’Keefe v. Chisholm. You can find all the pleadings here. Since the vast majority of cases are not accepted by the Supreme Court, it's hard to know what, if anything, the delay means. The issue on which review was sought had little to do -- on the surface -- with the substance of the abuses in the John Doe case, but rather, focuses on a technical legal point as to whether and when federal courts can or should stop state investigations. Here's how ScotusBlog summarized the issues:
@SteveRKlein Right. It was scheduled for last Friday's conference, and there's no order today.— Andrew M. Grossman (@andrewmgrossman) April 27, 2015
Agents for the embattled state Government Accountability Board continued a zealous campaign finance investigation into dozens of conservative groups even after judges who preside over the board voted to shut it down, according to a previously sealed brief made public Friday. The documents, from an updated complaint filed by conservative plaintiffs in a case against the GAB, appear to support claims that the campaign finance, ethics and election law regulator is a rogue agency. They also show that the GAB considered using the state’s John Doe law to investigate key state conservatives and even national figures, including Fox News’ Sean Hannity and WTMJ Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes.
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