Mar 10, 2012

Criminal, make that Legal Defense Fund Annouced for Scott Walker

Scott Walker John Doe Investigation
One of the first things John Doe criminal investigators often tell people they interview is they are not a target, or perhaps a banal 'you're not suspected of doing anything wrong.'

This is misleading because the nature of John Doe investigations is that the target and potential criminal defendant are unknown, hence the name: John Doe, and the need for an investigation. In other words, you are not a criminal target until you become a criminal target.

So the news Friday that Scott Walker has set up a legal defense fund was accompanied by a Walker flack, Ciara Matthews, stating, "We reiterate that Gov. Walker has been told that he is not a target of this investigation."

Sure, Walker was told that in the past.

But now things have changed, and it ain't because Walker is the DA's number one helper, as Walker has misled the Wisconsin people. Unless, Walker has been helpful to the point of being so magnanimous that he hired his two expensive criminal defense attorneys, Michael Steinle of Milwaukee and John Gallo of Chicago, last month.

Walker is now fighting to buy time before he is charged with criminal activity, and he is misleading the Wisconsin people along the way at he stares at the recall election.

Dan Bice gets a money quote from election law attorney extraordinaire, Michael Maistelman: "The only way you can set [a legal defense fund] up is if you are under investigation or being prosecuted. One can only draw the conclusion that either one of those two things is happening." Maistelman is widely regarded as the guy in Wisconsin you want if you need election law advice.

To pound the point home, Bice also quotes George Dunst, a retired state election lawyer. "If you create a legal defense fund, you are either being investigated, being charged with or have been convicted of a criminal violation of Chapter 11 [violation of campaign finance laws] or Chapter 12 [prohibited election practices]," said Dunst.

Maistelman is representing Walker's long-time confidante and top aide Tim Russell in the John Doe investigation. One wonders if Russell is sending a message through his attorney to Walker: I'm not going to be your fall guy.

What we do know is the likely $100,000s in legal bills by Steinle and Gallo isn't going to be paid by Walker and his criminal defense fund out of a sense of civic duty to the people of Wisconsin. Walker is looking out for his own right now, as any good criminal defense attorney would tell him.

But is it too much to ask of Scott Walker that he finally comes clean with the Wisconsin people?

We know fully well from press reports the existance of Walker's secret e-mail network; we know Walker used the network; the whole bunch of Scott Walker's top aides are either charged or have been granted immunity, so how about Walker just admits what happened, his role, and then face the judgement of the people of Wisconsin at the polls and the criminal justice system.

For once, how about Scott Walker deals candidly with the Wisconsin people? To parapharase Nixon: People have gotta know whether their governor is a crook.

1 comment:

  1. So what's the applicable definition of "agent" as allowed in 11.64? He can't use that money to defend anyone else but himself and "agents," right?