|Tim Russell and long-time aide and friend, Scott Walker|
Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, on the other hand, quotes Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski: "It is beyond belief at this point that Walker had no role in crimes that have led to the convictions of six aides and supporters. Time will tell what's in store for him."
News today that "Gov. Scott Walker transferred $40,000 in campaign funds late last year to his legal (criminal defense) fund," has renewed questions about whether Wisconsin citizens' governor is a crook.
The three-year John Doe probe into Scott Walker's rise to political power during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive has discovered a rat's nest of criminal activity and secured the convictions of the nucleus of Walker's political inner circle.
As for explanation from Scott Walker to the people of Wisconsin, no one in Wisconsin's formerly squeaky-clean political culture expects Walker to visit all (or any) of Wisconsin's 72 counties in listening sessions and say: Ask me anything. You deserve to know your governor is not a crook.
No one expects Walker to explain why he refused to publicly call upon his personally appointed former aides (now convicted felons) to simply tell the full truth to John Doe investigators working for the Milwaukee District Attorney's office.
As noted in today's column by Cognitive Dissidence, not one convicted felon who worked for Walker has come forward and publicly declared Walker's innocence of misusing his public office for political, private puposes—a felony.
This complete silence of the Walker gang, including those who pled guilty to felonies and have been sentenced is not demanded by the secrecy codicils of the John Doe proceedings.
Reads Wisconsin statute on Criminal Proceedings (968.26 on John Doe Proceedings):
Subject to s. 971.23, if the proceeding is secret, the record of the proceeding and the testimony taken shall not be open to inspection by anyone except the district attorney unless it is used by the prosecution at the preliminary hearing or the trial of the accused and then only to the extent that it is so used. A court, on the motion of a district attorney, may compel a person to testify or produce evidence under s. 972.08 (1). The person is immune from prosecution as provided in s. 972.08 (1), subject to the restrictions under s. 972.085.Point is: Nothing prevents Walker or his gang from saying: 'Look, I'm innocent. This slander must stop. And Scott Walker surely is innocent of misuse of public office, in my view.'
Or Walker could have negotiated an immunity deal; saying in effect: Anyone is my past administration breaks the law; they get what they deserve.'
Walker took a different way.
Walker's response has been to hire a PR firm; become the first sitting Wisconsin governor in history to form a criminal defense fund; and continually mislead the Wisconsin people and the gullible press about why the John Doe Proceedings were begun in the first place—Walker's stonewalling.
John Doe proceeding can be kept secret even after convictions might be secured and the proceedings are declared to be ended.
But the presumption of innocence under the law, and the right to declare one's innocence live on. This right is not negated by John Doe proceedings.
Why is no one in this matter declaring their own or past colleagues' innocence? The documents demonstrating Walker and allies' duplicity and criminality, (and criminality is legion), will come out. You can count on it. Update: On Sept. 16, 2016, The Guardian newspaper published a blockbuster on John Doe II: "1,500 pages of leaked documents obtained by the Guardian that are being published in their entirety for the first time. The cache consists of a stack of evidence gathered by official prosecutors in Wisconsin who were conducting what was called a “John Doe investigation' into suspected campaign finance violations by Walker's campaign and its network."