December 20, 2014

Attorney says no conclusion Walker committed a crime

Gov. Scott Walker (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson, file)

Gov. Scott Walker (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson, file)

A special prosecutor in a John Doe investigation says no conclusions have been made that Governor Scott Walker broke campaign laws.

The statement comes a week after documents were released as part of a federal lawsuit against the long-running probe, which has been looking at possible illegal coordination between Republican recall candidates and conservative groups. They include a filing from last December by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, which indicated Walker was at the center of a “criminal scheme” to raise funds and coordinate activities with issue advocacy groups.

Attorney Randall Crocker, who is representing Schmitz, says in a statement released Thursday that the filing only outlines a legal theory and does not establish the existence of a crime. Crocker says it was meant to be an argument supporting further investigation and that no conclusions have been made about whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime. Crocker stresses “It is wrong for any person to point to this sentence in a legal argument as a finding by the Special Prosecutor that Governor Walker has engaged in a criminal scheme. lt is not such a finding.”

The filing released last week prompted a firestorm of criticism and partisan attacks against Walker and it was mentioned in a TV ad released Thursday by Democrat Mary Burke’s campaign for governor. Governor Walker has accused media outlets of reporting the court filing as a proven fact, a point emphasized again in a statement released by his campaign. Spokesman Tom Evenson says “today’s statement by prosecutors should serve as an opportunity for the media to correct the record and report the real facts of this story.”