Gov. Scott Walker continued to brush back questions Wednesday about whether his campaign is the target of the secret John Doe investigation into possible campaign-finance law violations.
When asked whether the $86,000 his campaign, Friends of Scott Walker, spent on legal fees was related to the ongoing John Doe probe, Walker said, “I’m not getting into the details of it.”
He said the payments to the law firm of former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic are “not inconsistent” with previous payments for advice on “election law and other issues like that.”
Walker also was quizzed about whether his campaign had asked for the guidance released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Board about the legality of using campaign funds to defend against civil or criminal campaign violations. The opinion did not reveal the name of the requester, as required by state law.
“As I’ve said before, we’re not getting into details about this (John Doe) process until it’s completed,” the governor said.
Also Wednesday, two affidavits filed in the 4th District Court of Appeals shed a bit of new light on the investigation launched in August 2012. According to court records and media reports, the probe centers on possible illegal coordination between an unidentified political campaign and unnamed special interest groups involved in the 2011 and 2012 recall elections targeting Walker and several state legislators.
The affidavits filed by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and special prosecutor Francis Schmitz are part of an appeal brought by three unnamed defendants trying unsuccessfully to halt the five-county secret investigation.
The affidavit from Chisholm reveals that although he received information about potential violations of campaign finance law in 2012, “it was also clear that activity in question happened outside of Milwaukee County and involved the residents of four other counties ... Columbia, Dane, Dodge and Iowa counties.”
Schmitz has been criticized by the Wall Street Journal for conducting an investigation involving “kitchen-sink subpoenas and morning raids.” But the former federal prosecutor says in his affidavit that he has sought no subpoenas or search warrants to date.
He said those have been secured by investigators and in one case an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County. About 110 pages of Schmitz’s 148-page affidavit were redacted.