December 1, 2013

"The legal and public relations battle over the investigation connected to the recall campaigns of Gov. Scott Walker and others..."

"... could turn on free-speech issues and the makeup of the state Supreme Court," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Fully analyzing the legal arguments in the challenge to the John Doe is impossible because it remains under seal....

James Bopp Jr., an Indiana attorney with a national reputation for representing conservative political clients, has declined to say whether he is involved in this John Doe case, but in an interview with the Journal Sentinel blasted the process and prosecutors in the investigation....

"You're chilling one side of an election that results in an advantage for Democrats," Bopp said.

Bopp also contended that Wisconsin statutes don't spell out clearly what would constitute illegal coordination. "What we have here is a vague law," he said.

22 comments:

hawkeyedjb said...

Vague laws are the best kind, when your goal is to use the law as a weapon.

SGT Ted said...

If the prosecutor is an active Democrat pol, he should recuse himself in these types of investigations. Otherwise, it's pretty obvious that the "investigation" is a politically motivated attack job and not due to actual law breaking.

Ann Althouse said...

The prosecutor exposes himself to the attack that he's seeking to advantage his political friends.

That exposure is itself a safeguard.

Republicans should make whatever attack is justified, but if they overdo it, they'll be attacked for trying to suppress investigations into wrongdoing.

That both sides are exposed to political attacks provides some balance.

Note that the safeguards I'm referring to are themselves the exercise of free speech.

And part of what can be complained about is the suppression of free speech that is happening through the gag orders made within the John Doe proceeding.

Diogenes of Sinope said...
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garage mahal said...

The prosecutor exposes himself to the attack that he's seeking to advantage his political friends.

Very little is known about Francis Francis Schmitz. Not even what he looks like. He was on George W Bush's short list for U.S. Attorney. Those political friends?

Diogenes of Sinope said...
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Diogenes of Sinope said...
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Ann Althouse said...

I said: "The prosecutor exposes himself to the attack that he's seeking to advantage his political friends."

That means exactly what it means. No more. No less. Think about it.

"That exposure is itself a safeguard."

That too. Think about what I'm saying and what I'm not saying. Don't imagine other things. If you feel inspired to say additional things, go right ahead. But don't attribute the thoughts I've inspired in you to me.

Pay attention to your reading and thinking processes. Become more aware of what's happening in there.

You'd understand politics better if you did.

Paco Wové said...

"Because of the secrecy surrounding the state’s so-called John Doe investigations, no one can say exactly how Schmitz, who rose to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army, became the top prosecutor in the Democrats’ probe, which reportedly has spread to five counties."

As a non-Wisconsinite, it sure seems like Wisconsin has some seriously prone-to-abuse laws on the books. It sounds like a DA (Landgraf, in this case) can whip up a star chamber tribunal pretty much on a whim.

Diogenes of Sinope said...
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Birkel said...

I remember the political safeguards in place to protect Senator Ted Stevens.

And Speaker of the House Tom Delay.

Plus, let's not forget all the wonderful protections afforded the wrongfully accused, absolutely innocent Duke Lacrosse players.

Where shall those men go to reclaim their reputations?

cubanbob said...

The prosecutor exposes himself to the attack that he's seeking to advantage his political friends. "

Which means nothing. No real consequences commensurate to the damaged purposefully done. Stripping prosecutors of their immunity would go a long way to curbing these abuses.

iowan2 said...

I have to agree with others that are trying to understand the risk the prosecutors are under for malicious investigation and prosecution.

From the State of Florida (and our President) attempting to lynch George Zimmerman. To the Duke fiasco. (side bar-Duke faculty suffered no consequences for their actions. And Other colleges discriminated against All athletes from Duke) Tom Delay, Sara Palin, Ted Stevens. Those govt powers that brought those false, known to be false allegations have not suffered do to their illegal abuse of power

In short the power of govt is immune from responsibility for abuse of power.

As a citizen I lose respect for the govt and its attendant bureaucracy on a daily basis.
Not a healthy situation.

Birkel said...

iowan2:
I must disagree in part. When you lose respect for an institution that did not deserve it and did not earn it, that is a healthy outcome. More people must lose unearned respect for We, the people, to reclaim lost power.

The government is ineffective because there are few feedback mechanisms by which the bureaucracy can learn. Celebrate this self-limiting feature/bug of government.

EDH said...

"I think it's pretty clear that the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled that requesting disclosure of donors to independent expenditure groups is not prohibited by the First Amendment," Levinson said.

What's more, prosecutors are not seeking public disclosure of the information, he said. They are gathering documents as part of their investigation, and those would become public only if someone were charged and the documents were relevant as part of the prosecution, he said.


Isn't this case about where the money went, not who it came from?

Isn't selective, secret gathering of donor information more intimidating than blanket public disclosure of all groups' donors?


Garage Mahal said...
He was on George W Bush's short list for U.S. Attorney. Those political friends?

Isn't it traditional for the state's state's congressional delegation to recommend US attorney nominees to the president?

Mark said...

This John Doe sure would be a clean way for a future GOP Presidential opponent to eliminate Walker.

Everyone will blame the left for this anyway, it's a very clever way to keep your hands clean but remove a potential rival.

I sure don't think it is Mary Burke or the ineffective WI Dems doing this.

garage mahal said...

Isn't it traditional for the state's state's congressional delegation to recommend US attorney nominees to the president?

Not sure. Apparently he was on Bush's short list, and was specifically chosen to quell concerns this investigation was politically motivated. Also, the idea that these investigations hinder conservative political participation is ridiculous. The John Doe(s) on Walker have been going on before Walker was elected in 2010, and this state is awash in conservative money unprecedented in state history.

Chris Arabia said...

"Pay attention to your reading and thinking processes. Become more aware of what's happening in there.

You'd understand politics better if you did."

Please do likewise in 2016.

Some vague exposure to some undefined attack would somehow dissuade a prosecutor?

No, it wouldn't.

geokstr said...

Garage Mahal said...
He was on George W Bush's short list for U.S. Attorney. Those political friends?


Not to worry, GM. I'll bet this kangaroo investigation will uncover those dastardly secret routers.

geokstr said...

They are gathering documents as part of their investigation, and those would become public only if someone were charged and the documents were relevant as part of the prosecution,

In other words, an obvious fishing expedition/witch hunt. If they find anything look for the indictments to be issued a few days before the election with no time to respond. If nothing is discovered, it allows the Democrat rumor mill to run wild, and then you'll see that announcement of no charges just after the election.

Typical sleaze from the leftlings, with the "unbiased", "objecive" "news" watchdogs too busy humping Obama's leg to notice anything unethical going on.

Can't Walker or the WI Republican Party do anything to fight back? If I was him, I'd leak everyhing I knew was happening and challenge the courts to jail me.

geokstr said...

GM:
...this state is awash in conservative money unprecedented in state history.


Really? I guess it's a crime that now there's something to partially offset the tens of millions of dollars pumped into the anti-Walker recall, by out-of-state unions funded with dues extorted from their members, a strong minority of whom vote "R", and tons of money from Soros and other leftling groups.

How dare the right fight back? Don't people understand they're delaying the onslaught on unicorns and rainbows from happening?

RecChief said...

but, if the Democrat Party can keep this up, they can bring it to the attention of the voters who just don't pay any attention to these things in 2016, when Walker might run for the White House.