According to government lawyers familiar with a Milwaukee criminal corruption probe, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is now a "target" of the investigation.Shuster also made these same comments in an appearance on the Young Turks (H/T Crooks & Lawyers:
The legal sources, who are not involved in Wisconsin's recall, spoke on condition of anonymity. They said Walker faces "serious legal challenges," including "a possible indictment," regardless of the election results on Tuesday.
The sources indicate Walker's status was clarified more than a week ago, allegedly following a series of requests by Walker's legal team that prosecutors publicly clear him of any wrong doing before the recall election. Take Action News reached out to Governor Walker's spokesperson for comment on this story and received no response.
A lot of people got very excited about it, thinking that this might be the moment we've been waiting for and that Walker was about to get arrested and indicted.
To be honest, I was much more skeptical about it's veracity and didn't think for a minute that anything was imminent.
But I now have reason to think otherwise.
I had the opportunity to speak with Shuster, as well as former Kenosha County District Attorney Bob Jambois and former Attorney General and former US Attorney Peg Lautenschlager in a conference call. They were able to make things a lot clearer.
The following is a summary of what they told me in the phone call along with things I have picked up over the past several months.
Basically, during the course of Walkergate, going back at least to 2010, the United States Department of Justice has been working hand in glove with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office in the investigation. Indeed, Jud Lounsbury has reported that there is a staff member in the DA's Office that also has the dual role of being an US Attorney and that the FBI has been working as an equal partner during the investigation.
It is believed that the US Attorneys have started writing their prosecutorial memo, which is basically a rough draft for what they would use to bring this in front of a grand jury. In this document, they would lay out their evidence, their thoughts on charging, the strengths and weaknesses of the case and possibly their strategy. The memo is reviewed by the DOJ's Judicial Integrity System, which has been already closely monitoring the investigation.
Walker, even as recently as Saturday, has denied that he is the target of any investigation and that his "high level of integrity" will be apparent when he is cleared. But that's not quite true. In fact, it's a pretty galling lie.
But Walker has produced no such letter, basically because none exists.
Likewise, if Walker had done nothing wrong, he would not be required to withhold any of the 1,400+ emails that were found on the secret router. He could easily release those emails and clear his good name. But he consistently refuses to, saying that he can't, per the DA. We already know the only way he couldn't is if he had to appear before Judge Nettesheim and testified about his emails.
In other words, he hasn't been acting much like an Eagle Scout.
SIDE NOTE: By the way, there is also another code that forbids them from filing charges within sixty days of an election, so that there is no appearance of trying to influence said election. I also learned that in these types of situations, it is common practice for the state, in this case DA John Chisholm, to defer to the DOJ, which is why he also hasn't filed charges against Walker yet.
I also learned that, despite how sexy an idea it is, the federal charges, if there are any, probably won't include RICO. From what I understand, the charges will be more along the lines of mail and wire fraud and the such.
I also learned that, despite what my friend, H. Nelson Goodson at the Hispanic News Network, insists upon, at the stage they're in, any indictments won't be for weeks or even months, if they choose to try him at all on the federal level.
Pretty heavy duty stuff, ain't it? But hold on, because if there is one thing you should have learned from me, is that when it comes to Walker, there's more. There's always more.
I have also learned that there's another aspect to Walkergate, which I've dubbed Walkergate West.
Unbelievable as it may seem, and despite knowing all too well that the DA and the feds were on to him, Walker is believed to have set up yet another secret router system in the governor's office. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to which I could link to, per se, since the Walkergate investigation is indeed locked tight as a drum, despite the panicked flailings of Walker's hired propagandists.
However, Graeme Zielinski, the Communication Director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said that they have heard from lobbyists who work with both parties that they found it odd that instead of going through normal channels, they were being directed to contact Keith Gilkes, Walker's then Chief of Staff, using his email address from his consultancy group.
Zielinski also stated that there is reason to believe, just like what Walker did in Milwaukee County, his top advisors in the Department of Administration and cabinet members were privy to this.
That would go a long way to why he hasn't purged Cullen Werwie or Brett Davis from his administration.
This would also make sense given Walker's propensity to do politicking in office (see the phony David Koch phone call) and all the pay for play action that was going on, with tax giveaways, political appointees like Brian Deschane, sweetheart contracts and other sordid affairs like the attempted mining bill.
All of this is what makes Tuesday's election all the more important.
Whether it's by recall or by indictment, the odds are pretty good that Walker won't complete a full term.
If he loses on Tuesday, that would be grand. Even if the damage can't be immediately repaired, at least we know that no more harm would be inflicted upon the state or its people.
But if he were to win, then when he is indicted, we would be stuck with Governor Rebecca "Minivan" Kleefisch. Not only would she continue with Walker's maleficent agenda, she would had her own twists, like requiring all floor lamps and end tables to wear heavy drapes. On top of that, her first dude and top advisor would be Joel "Get in my belly!" Kleefisch.
In other words, this race is really a race between Tom Barrett and Rebecca Kleefisch. Anyone voting for Walker is basically throwing their vote away. As unpleasant as the past seventeen months have been, the prospect of having another two and a half years of it under Kleefisch is truly terrifying.
So, even if the weather is nice, the Brewers are playing, or whatever, there is no time for anything but to Get Out The Vote. Let's not waste all the effort and time we have put in for the past seventeen months protesting, gathering signatures and holding recalls because canvassing and phone banking isn't as exciting as protesting or holding a rally. This is our one chance to save the state, and even the country, by stating in one voice, "Enough!" and putting an end to this nightmare.
So let's get his done, shall we?