Claims that there is evidence that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was part of a “criminal scheme” to sway special elections in 2011 and 2012 are “wrong,” according to an attorney for a special prosecutor looking into the case.
Last week, a judge released documents that showed that the special prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, had named Walker and several others as part of a plot to coordinate campaign activities ahead of the special elections.
But those documents were never meant to be released to the public and they were taken out of context, said Randall Crocker, a personal attorney for Schmitz, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Schmitz is being accused of prosecutorial misconduct by a conservative group involved in the case, which is called a John Doe investigation.
“Governor Walker’s name was included in this reference,” Crocker stated. “While these documents outlined the prosecutor’s legal theory, they did not establish the existence of a crime.”
“Rather, they were arguments in support of further investigation to determine if criminal charges against any person or entity are warranted.”
“It is wrong for any person to point to this sentence in a legal argument as a finding by the special prosecutor that Governor Walker has engaged in a criminal scheme. It is not such a finding,” Crocker said.
Last week’s release revived speculation that Walker was involved in campaign fraud. The judge overseeing the case had found no probable cause that campaign laws were violated. And a federal judge had granted an injunction on the criminal aspect of the case.
Crocker also stated that when the investigation was halted, Walker was not the target of the investigation, nor has he been served with a subpoena.
Upon Crocker’s statement, Walker’s campaign hit back.
“After the media’s slanderous reporting last week, today’s statement by prosecutors should serve as an opportunity for the media to correct the record and report the real facts of this story,” Walker campaign communications director Tom Evenson said in a statement.
Walker’s campaign slammed his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke, who began airing ads on Thursday that referenced the claims attributed to Schmitz.
“Mary Burke’s ad is slanderous at best, and it should [be] pulled from the airwaves immediately,” said Walker campaign manager Stephan Thompson, according to Politico.
“Failure to remove this ad would be dishonest and misleading to Wisconsin voters by furthering baseless allegations and inaccurate reporting.”