There is a reason why people refer to Scott Walker as a weasel, besides the fact that I've been doing it for years. Walker is as unscrupulous as a person can be and despite his inability to govern his way out of a wet paper bag, he is very adept at dodging and sidestepping the truth, even when it requires talking out of both sides of his mouth.
One of Walker's most glaring examples of his skill at "weaselspeak" is the way he is now trying to address the Walkergate issue. He alternates between being cooperative, to not being a target to being unable to talk about it because of the secrecy rules, depending on which is most politically convenient at the moment. He often uses all of them in the same conversation which is really confusing to most people.
On Saturday evening, I had the chance to speak with former Kenosha County District Attorney Bob Jambois, to help clarify the issues regarding Walker's weaselspeak and Walkergate. Jambois is a very astute attorney and has conducted a number of John Doe investigations while he was a district attorney. Jambois also cosigned the letter from some of the most esteemed members of the legal field attesting to the integrity of the Milwaukee County District Attorney, the Honorable Neal P. Nettesheim and the prosecutorial process.
"I'm not the target."
Walker has often claimed that he is not the target of the Walkergate investigations. The most recent example comes from Friday night's debate, where he claims to be cooperating again and claims to not be the target (starting about the 1:45 mark):
However, per Jambois, the only way for a person to know that they are not the target of a John Doe investigation is to be given immunity. And when one is given immunity in a John Doe, it is easily verifiable, regardless of the type of immunity which was granted.
If Walker was given formal immunity, there would be a court record of it which would be public knowledge. If Walker was granted informal immunity, he would have a letter from the District Attorney's office which he could legally produce to verify this claim. However, there is no court record showing Walker was granted immunity. Likewise, he has never produced a letter to verify his claim.
Thereby, we can conclude with confidence that Walker has not been granted immunity and thus cannot, in any conceivable way, know that he is not a target of the Walkergate investigation.
"Bound by the secrecy of the John Doe process"
When Walker is not busy professing that the he is not the target or that he has a "high level of integrity,*" he is copping out saying that he cannot talk about Walkergate because of the secrecy aspect of the John Doe proceeding, as he did in this interview, starting after the nervous cough at 1:45:
Per Jambois, the only way that Walker would be under a secrecy order is if he testified before the John Doe judge or if there is a broad secrecy order. And even if he did testify, the only thing he couldn't comment on is his testimony.
Now, given Walker's history of micromanaging his campaign - see the infamous "we can't have another story like this" email - I reckon it is conceivable that his testimony could be rather extensive. This is especially true when one considers all the different directions the Walkergate investigation has taken, from embezzlement to pay for play bid rigging to illegal campaigning and Lord knows what else.
Furthermore, as Jambois explained to me, if Walker was not the target and if Walker did not testify before the judge, the DA has no legal authority to forbid Walker from talking about Walkergate. It would be especially unlikely, given that Walker is just days away from facing a recall election, that the DA would forbid Walker from clearing his name in a clear and concise way, if, as Walker claims, he is not a target.
Which is it? Secrecy or immunity?
As I said, Walker is trying to play both sides of the John Doe. But he simply and legally cannot have both his secrecy and immunity too. If he was given immunity, it would be public record and not a secret. If he was ordered to secrecy, then he cannot claim not to be a target.
It is time that Scott Walker comes clean about Walkergate and his involvement in it. He needs to answer directly to what his role is and why he has been lying to the voters regarding this.
It is also time that the press in this state start doing their jobs and asking these questions until he gives a clear and direct answer to them instead of giving him a pass on his weaselspeak.
And this needs to be done now, so that the voters have a clear understanding of just who Walker is and exactly just what role he played in the illegal activities that took place in his own executive suite and under his watch,.