Washington, D.C. (January 15, 2014)—Eric O’Keefe, who has been identified in media reports as a target of a secret “John Doe” investigation in Wisconsin, today demanded that state prosecutors end their action against him or face a federal civil rights action. O’Keefe is director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which was also targeted for alleged unlawful “coordination” with Governor Scott Walker’s campaign for fiscal reforms.
“This investigation is political payback by elected prosecutors against conservative activists for their political successes in Wisconsin,” stated O’Keefe. “They are violating the constitutional rights of private citizens and must be held accountable.”
In a letter to the prosecutors, O’Keefe’s lawyer, Washington attorney David B. Rivkin, states that the probe has no basis in Wisconsin law and violates Mr. O’Keefe’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. The prosecutors’ legal reasoning, the letter states, “is unsupportable as a matter of law and crystal clear evidence of bad faith.”
“I am confident that any federal court that reviews the facts will see your investigation for what it is, put a stop to it, and hold you publicly accountable,” the letter states.
The letter demands that Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and the other prosecutors close the investigation immediately, publicly exonerate Mr. O’Keefe and the Club, and dissolve the gag order that bars discussion of the proceeding. Despite the gag order, the investigation has been widely reported in the media, apparently due to leaks to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel from the prosecutors’ offices, Rivkin’s letter states.
O’Keefe is a veteran political activist who has promoted limited government for more than 30 years. The Wisconsin Club for Growth is a statewide network of thousands of pro-growth Wisconsinites who are dedicated to promoting economic freedom through public education and issue advocacy.
Due to the secrecy order, O’Keefe is unable to comment on the probe or his anticipated federal action.
January 16, 2014
"'John Doe' Target Demands Wisconsin Prosecutors End Retaliatory Probe or Face Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit."
A press release: