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UPDATE: Appeals court asks unnamed parties for information

 
UPDATE: Appeals court asks unnamed parties for information
Posted July 23rd, 2014 @ 12:08pm by Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A federal appeals court is asking two unnamed parties related to an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and other conservative groups to explain why they are entitled to remain anonymous.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday asked the unnamed parties to address that in briefs due in September.

The case involves an appeal filed by a coalition of five media groups to a federal judge's order refusing to unseal the entire record in a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin Club for Growth. That group and others were investigated by prosecutors looking at alleged campaign law violations.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa ruled last month against the media coalition, saying releasing the documents would subject those involved to ``unwanted public scrutiny.'' 


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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Newly unsealed documents in the ongoing lawsuit challenging an investigation into possible illegal campaign activity by conservative groups and Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign shed little light on the probe.


The documents were released publicly Wednesday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, over an objection from conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth which wanted to keep them secret.


The group argued that since the federal court judge overseeing the lawsuit had not released them yet, the appeals court should not circumvent him. But it acknowledged the documents were likely to be unsealed by the judge.

The newly released material includes portions of arguments made by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and investigator Dean Nickel as to why they should be immune from being sued by Wisconsin Club for Growth.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A federal appellate judge has ordered two sets of documents filed in a lawsuit challenging a secret investigation into possible coordination between Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups.

The right-leaning Wisconsin Club for Growth filed the lawsuit in February, arguing the investigation violates the group's free speech rights. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa agreed with the group and has put the probe on hold.

Prosecutors have appealed Randa's stay to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which unsealed 266 pages of previously redacted documents last month.

7th Circuit Judge Diane Wood on Tuesday denied a Club for Growth motion to seal attachments to one of its filings in the appeal and ordered they be released to the public. It's unclear what the attachments contain or when they'll be released.

 

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A federal judge has given prosecutors, a conservative group and two unnamed parties more time to review what documents could be unsealed in a secret investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and right-leaning organizations violated campaign finance law.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa halted the investigation in May as part of a lawsuit the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth filed challenging investigators' basis for the probe. On June 19 he gave all the parties two weeks to determine what records in the case should remain secret.

That made Wednesday the deadline for the parties' report. On Tuesday the parties filed a joint motion asking to extend the deadline to July 17. They say they have to review more than 3,000 pages.

Randa granted the motion late Tuesday

 

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 2, 2014 ---

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors, a conservative group and two unnamed parties have asked a federal judge for more time to review documents that could be made public in a secret investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and right-leaning organizations violated campaign finance law.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa halted the investigation in May as part of a lawsuit the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth filed challenging investigators' basis for the probe. On June 19 he gave all the parties two weeks to determine what records in the case should remain secret.

That made Wednesday the deadline for the parties' report. But on Thursday the parties filed a joint motion asking Randa to give them until July 17. They say they have to review more than 3,000 pages.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 2, 2014 ---

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors, a conservative group and two unnamed parties have asked a federal judge for more time to review documents that could be made public in a secret investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and right-leaning organizations violated campaign finance law.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa halted the investigation in May as part of a lawsuit the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth filed challenging investigators' basis for the probe. On June 19 he gave all the parties two weeks to determine what records in the case should remain secret.

That made Wednesday the deadline. But on Thursday the parties filed a joint motion asking Randa to give them until July 17. They say they have to review more than 3,000 pages.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, June 27, 2014 ---

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two unnamed people involved with the investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's recall campaign and a host of conservative groups are asking a federal court judge to issue an order designed to further protect their identifies.

Attorneys for the unnamed people filed a request with U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa late Thursday asking that they be notified before any more documents in the case are made public. Last week a federal appeals court judge unsealed more than 250 pages, despite objections from the unknown people.

Prosecutors have said in court filings that they were looking into alleged illegal campaign activity involving Walker's campaign and conservative groups during the 2011 and 2012 recalls.

An attorney for the lead prosecutor released a statement Thursday saying Walker was not a target of the probe.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, June 26, 2014 ---

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The attorney for the special prosecutor investigating Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups says no conclusions have been made about whether there's enough evidence to charge him or anyone with a crime.

Thursday's statement from attorney Randall Crocker also says that Walker himself was not a target of the investigation and has never been served with a subpoena.

Crocker represents lead prosecutor Francis Schmitz.

The probe was halted last month by a federal judge. A court document Schmitz wrote in December and made public last week identified Walker as being part of an alleged criminal scheme to evade campaign laws.

Crocker says the document was a legal argument for further investigation, not a determination that criminal charges were warranted against Walker or anyone else.

 

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A central argument in Gov. Scott Walker's defense against allegations that he was part of a nationwide criminal scheme to break campaign laws is that those going after him are Democrats on a partisan witch hunt.

But Walker ignores the fact that Republican prosecutors are also involved in the probe.

The investigation was launched by a Democratic district attorney in Milwaukee and two judges have rejected arguments made by prosecutors and put the investigation on hold pending appeals.

But the special prosecutor hired by a bipartisan group of district attorneys and nonpartisan panel of retired judges to lead the investigation is a Republican who says he voted for Walker. And the federal judge who issued a ruling halting the probe in May was appointed by a Republican president.

 

 

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UPDATED Friday, June 20, 2014---

Governor Walker has issued a statement saying " accusations by a partisan democratic district attorney are categorically false."  He notes that two judges, in state and federal courts, have ruled that no laws were broken.

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UPDATED Thursday, June 19, 2014 --- .

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Newly released documents show prosecutors believe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a nationwide "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups.

No charges have been filed against Walker or any member of his staff. The documents became public Thursday as part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the investigation by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth.

One of the filings from prosecutors outlines previously unknown details about the investigation that began in 2012 as Walker was facing a recall election.

Prosecutors say Walker, his chief of staff and others who worked for him were discussing illegal coordination with a number of national groups and prominent figures, including GOP strategist Karl Rove.

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UPDATED Thursday, June 19, 2014 ---

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has released unedited copies of 266 pages of previously redacted documents filed in the investigation into whether conservative groups illegally coordinated with Gov. Scott Walker's campaign.

Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Frank Easterbrook on Thursday denied a motion from two unnamed people to block the release of the documents. An attorney for one of those unnamed people declined comment.

They had argued making the documents public could reveal their identity, their "private papers" and invade their privacy.

The documents consist of legal filings made by prosecutors and Wisconsin Club for Growth in the federal lawsuit filed over the legality of the investigation.

A federal judge has temporarily put the investigation on hold, a move prosecutors are fighting.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Court filings made public related to the John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's recall campaign and other conservative groups shed light on why prosecutors wanted to keep the probe secret.

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed briefs in federal court in support of their request that a judge put on hold his earlier order halting the probe. That came in a case brought by Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of the investigation's targets.

An exhibit filed with the court Wednesday is a partially redacted copy of a petition submitted in July 2013 to start the secret investigation in Iowa County against Eric O'Keefe, a member of Wisconsin Club for Growth's board.

The filing says the investigation should be secret because targets are ``well placed'' and publicity could harm the effort.

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