The state Department of Justice has released its report into the leak of secret documents from an investigation that targeted Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative groups. The findings ultimately recommend no criminal charges be filed, although that’s largely because investigators believe there’s not enough evidence to prove a crime was committed “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The probe, often referred to as the John Doe investigation, was looking into allegations that Walker’s campaign illegally coordinated with outside conservative groups during the recall elections. The state Supreme Court halted it and ordered documents sealed. However, some of the findings were leaked to The Guardian newspaper, which in turn published a scathing report about the case.
Attorney General Brad Schimel launched an investigation and a report released Wednesday blames the leak on the “systemic and pervasive mishandling of information” by the former Government Accountability Board and John Doe special prosecutor. “DOJ is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponization of GAB by partisans in furtherance of political goals, which permitted the vast collection of highly personal information from dozens of Wisconsin Republicans without even taking modest steps to secure this information,” the report argues.
While the DOJ is not recommending any criminal charges, it does argue that former GAB attorney Shane Falk be referred to the Wisconsin Court System’s Office of Lawyer Regulation for possible discipline. The report also suggests contempt proceedings be started against John Doe prosecutors and former GAB employees.
A judge will now review the report and make a decision on what action should be taken next.