Saturday, June 2, 2012

Walkergate: Russell Tries To Handcuff John Doe - UPDATED

Earlier in the year, I wrote about some of the outlandish defense strategies that the Walkergate defendants were trying to use, such as Kelly Rindfleisch's universal immunity theory.  Needless to say, all of these ploys were struck down and only served as a delaying tactic, which might have very well been their only purpose.

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article that blew up Scott Walker's pretenses of claiming to be cooperative with the Walkergate investigation, they also mentioned another bizarre defense strategy by Tim Russell:
Other records in Russell's filing this week show that former Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim, who is overseeing the John Doe investigation, agreed to expand the scope of the investigation at least seven times between May 11 and Nov. 30, 2010. In fact, prosecutors first expanded the investigation just three days after the case was opened, presumably in response to a No Quarter piece about a Walker staffer posting favorable comments about her boss on blogs and websites while she was on the job.
"To expand the scope of a John Doe proceeding to include investigating illegal campaign activity and a subsequent theft allegation unrelated to the time, circumstances and witnesses to the original 2006 theft clearly exceeds the scope and intent of the John Doe statute," wrote Krueger, Russell's attorney, in his motion asking Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher to throw out his client's charges.

Krueger also said in his filing that prosecutors have informed him that Russell remains a target of the investigation, despite having been already charged earlier this year.

By continuing to investigate his client in the John Doe after charging him, Krueger said, prosecutors increase their ability to "leverage the defendant into accepting a plea or (face) the prospect of defending against additional charges."

Landgraf declined to comment on the filing, saying he had not yet read it.
Tim Russell was much more to Scott
Walker than just his waterboy.
Cory Liebmann, intrepid investigator and blogger, did his own research and went to the Milwaukee County Courthouse and into the very courtroom to take his own look at Russell's file and the defense motion. Liebmann's report confirms much of what MJS reported, but adds that it appears that Russell is trying to use the smear tactics to discredit the DA's office, the judge and the process itself.

It seems to me that maybe Russell and/or his attorney wasted their time listening to the deplorable and utterly misnamed Citizens for Responsible Government and the mercenary lawyer Paul Bucher in trying to find ways to circumvent justice.

I don't think Russell's desperate tactic will yield anything he wants it to. The argument that the process is overreaching itself or that the judge doesn't have the right to do expand the investigation is pure balderdash, according to Attorney Marcus J. Berghahn of the law firm Hurley, Burish & Stanton S.C. in Madison, who explains the John Doe process at the State Bar of Wisconsin's website:
The powers of a judge presiding over a John Doe are broad and imbued with a great deal of discretion. The judge sits as a tribunal, and the judge’s authority has been interpreted to include the authority to issue subpoenas, adjourn proceedings, take possession of subpoenaed records, adjudicate probable cause, determine whether a lawyer has a conflict of interest in representing a witness, and to issue and seal search warrants.


As the investigation in Milwaukee County has shown, the John Doe proceeding may lead to criminal charges. Those charges need not be directly related to the complaint that started the proceeding. When complete, the judge will determine whether probable cause exists to charge any additional individuals with a crime.
There's been rumor that Russell's motions will be heard on Monday, but court records don't indicate that anything has been scheduled yet. But if there is a hearing on Monday, I would be perfectly fine with that, regardless of the results.

Update: I completely forgot that Russell has his final pretrial hearing on Monday, so there might be a whole slew of information coming out that day.

What could be better than on the day before one of the biggest elections in state history, having a front page, top of the newscast reminder that Scott Walker is John Doe.

P.S. Scott Walker just might have multiple personalities, as that it looks more and more like he is RICO Suave.


  1. And like Gerardo and Rico Suave, let's hope Walker is also a one hit wonder and vanishes forever.

  2. Thanks again ! I love reading your blog : )

  3. Great reporting, thanks. Glad Cory was in the courtroom.

  4. And Scotty had a killer mullet like Gerardo did at one time.

  5. I think the various defense attorneys have not only been delaying the legal proceedings until after the election but searching for a path to the Prosserized Supreme Court, an enchanted land where today's bizarre legal argument may become tomorrow's precedent.

  6. Speaking of Walker's legal problems, has anyone heard whether he responded to the Oversight Committee in Congress? He was supposed to answer their three questions no later than June 1st. I wonder what happened. Thanks!

  7. Expand seven times?

    1) kavanaugh taking money from vets (the charge that opened the case)

    2) campaigning at wok

    3) Russell taking money from vets

    4) pierick child enticement charges

    5) destruction of digital property (no charges yet - but acknowledged investigation)

    6) bid rigging (it's rumored that this is being investigated, but not confirmed)

    7) destruction of physical property (rumored to be under investigation - ie dumpster o fun)

    8) unknown.

    Does that sound right? Should the list start with the illegal campaign contributions? That would then rule out "unknown".

  8. Don't get your hopes up for "front page."

    1. I never said that it would be MJS running the story. ;^)

  9. The consolation prize to a Walker win tomorrow (although I think Barrette will pull it off based on Milwaukee turning out the vote) will be seeing the national shame heaped on the WisGOP when their poster boy goes down in flames.

  10. Well Walker won and the people of Wisconsin defended their boy to the horror of the rest of the nation. Shame on Wisconsin. I think the feds were protecting the Lt. Governer from lossing along with Walker if they released the information that Walker was now a target in the investagation before the election ; since she would become governor if he is convicted. I think he knows he is a target or he would have produced the letter from the feds before the election. I think this means he will be indicted very soon.