Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Shoots Down Criminal Investigation

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Court documents unsealed Thursday revealed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had been accused by prosecutors of allegedly being part of a "scheme" to illegally coordinate the activities of multiple campaign organizations.

Walker's team responded to the revelations by pointing out a pair of judges shut down the investigation earlier this year. 

Business Insider reached out to Walker's government office shortly after the documents were made public and was referred to his campaign. In an email, Walker campaign spokeswoman  Alleigh Marre noted two judges halted the investigation. 

"The Friends of Scott Walker campaign are not party to the federal suit and have no control over any documents in that suit. Two judges have rejected the characterizations disclosed in those documents," Marre said in a statement.

The documents unsealed Thursday included several motions to quash subpoenas filed by one of the groups at the center of the investigation, the Wisconsin Club For Growth and its director, conservative activist Eric O'Keefe, earlier this year. Those motions argued the investigation into the campaign activities of the CFG and other conservative groups supporting Walker were overbroad and politically motivated.

In addition to the motions to quash the subpoenas, the unsealed documents also included responses from prosecutors and other related motions outlining their rationale for investigating the campaign activities of Walker and his allies. Prosecutors said the CFG, Walker's campaign organization, Friends of Scott Walker, and Walker himself all "coordinated fundraising" in violation of campaign finance law. In a response to the motions to quash the subpoenas filed last December, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz provided what he described as "a detailed summary of the factual basis for this investigation."

"The investigation focuses on a wide-ranging scheme to coordinate activities of several organizations with various candidate committees," Schmitz wrote. 

However, the probe into the campaign activities of Walker and his allies was shut down by a pair of federal judges earlier this year. In January, Reserve Judge Gregory Peterson quashed the subpoenas and ordered any property seized during the course of the investigation to be returned. In his decision, Peterson said the prosecutors did not "show probable cause that the moving parties committed any violations of campaign finance laws." In April, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa in Milwaukee denied motions to dismiss O'Keefe's complaint. 

Prosecutors are still attempting to investigate Walker and his allies. According to the Journal Sentinel, the documents unsealed Thursday were released by  Federal Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook, who is reviewing a lawsuit seeking to permanently stop the investigation.  

Correction (6:15 p.m.): This story initially referred to Randa and Peterson as a "pair of federal judges." Randa is a federal judge, but Peterson is a state-level judge. 



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