The John Doe probe shows Scott Walker is at the center of a criminal scheme to funnel $10s of millions into the recall elections of 2011-12, so are GOP operatives, R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.
This does not make them guilty of crimes, John Does are not mini-trials.
This does not make them "targets." John Does are not grand juries and do not designate targets as federal grand juries do (and as some other states' counties do).
It makes them subjects in an investigation that has Wisconsin Republicans and their paymasters across the country scared as rabbits.
This week John Doe special prosecutor Francis Schmitz' attorney, Randall Crocker released a statement: "While these (released) 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. Mr. Schmitz has made no conclusions as to whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime. 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." (Stein, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
At the least the released documents demonstrate that the accumulated evidence exceeds the reasonable suspicion standard for the John Doe probe to proceed. Most jurists (the non-Federalist Society kind) would see the evidence exceeds a higher standard, probable cause, for further investigation.
As for the public relations lines, Prosecutor: Scott Walker is not a target, as the Wisconsin State Journal's hard copy edition blares this morning. No kidding.
Neither are Bambi, Guy Fawkes or Mickey Mantle.
You become are "target" when you are charged with a crime, and the investigation is not completed, halted and awaiting a ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit before it can proceed.
The State Journal headline this morning, Prosecutor: Scott Walker not a target, is intentionally misleading, likely written by a pro-Walker copy editor or other staffer with pro-Walker leanings.
The John Doe investigation is not completed; stopped by the ethically challenged Judge Rudolph Randa with a bizarre opinion that should become the subject of ridicule from the panel of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Randa's opinion doesn't end the John Doe probe, as White Wisconsin asserts. White Wisconsin apparently forgot about the federal appellate court circuit, deliberating the appeal.
As for when someone should be charged under a John Doe probe, and by what standard of evidence: Probable cause or guilt beyond on a reasonable doubt, If you can get a straight answer on background from a knowledgeable jurist, good luck.
No one appears to know.
In the meantime, treat words from Scott Walker and his mouthpieces with a heavy does of salt: Scott Walker has no credibility and a well-documented history of lying to the people of Wisconsin.
This we know beyond a reasonable doubt.