At least one political observer expects few bombshells to come out of the latest release of documents from a John Doe investigation. The probe, which ended last year, targeted the Milwaukee County executive’s office when Governor Scott Walker was in charge.
County officials on Friday released 15 gigabytes of computer files seized during the investigation, which was looking into illegal campaign work done by county employees while at their taxpayer-funded jobs. The documents are being released under a judge’s order, and are only a small portion of the information that was gathered by prosecutors. The investigation, which a judge closed in March of last year, resulted in six convictions. Governor Walker himself was never charged with any wrongdoing.
Given how long prosecutors had the documents and the fact that the investigation is now closed, Marquette Law School political scientist Charles Franklin doubts there will be any major revelations. “If there were credible damaging evidence, we probably would have seen that before,” Franklin says.
The biggest possibility is that something embarrassing to the governor could be uncovered in the thousands of documents. Even then though, Franklin questions whether it would change the opinions of most voters as Walker prepares to face reelection this fall. He notes that the most recent Marquette Law School poll found most respondents viewed the John Doe investigation as politically motivated, so he argues it’s unlikely to change many minds, “barring something really unexpected.”