Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Walkergate: John Doe Meets Brad Schimel

In January 2012, Wisconsin's political and legal landscapes underwent a major upheaval when five of Scott Walker's top aides and close allies were arrested and charged in relation to a John Doe investigation, commonly referred to as Walkergate.

Darlene Wink
One of the five people arrested and charged was Walker's then Director of Constituent Relations, .  Wink, who was also an officer of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, was charged with illegal campaigning while on county time and using county equipment.  Apparently even then, Walker considered his campaign donors to be his true constituency.
Darlene Wink

Shortly after Wink was arrested and charged, it came out that she had been in plea negotiations with the DA's office.  She was given a proverbial slap on the wrist in return for her testimony against the other defendants.  The plea deal also required that Wink give testimony in any future cases involving the "destruction of digital evidence."

Wink's sentencing was delayed numerous times due to the wait in regards to a possible proceeding in Waukesha County, but it was never made clear with what or with whom that proceeding was about.

Likewise, it was never made clear what the "destruction of digital evidence" was all about.

Until now.

A friend of Cog Dis sent me a tip that resolves both of those loose ends.

Via a Public Reprimand by the Office of Lawyer Regulation OLR), we learn that Attorney Christopher Wiesmueller contacted Wink just after she was charged and offered his services pro bono.  It turns out that Wink and Weismueller knew each other through the Republican Party of Milwaukee County.

Christopher Mueller
At their first meeting after Wink retained Weismueller's services, Weismueller advised her to scrub her laptop of all incriminating evidence and offered to assist her with doing that.  She left her laptop with him and Weismueller proceeded to destroy the digital evidence using downloaded software.

Weismueller admitted to the OLR that he knew that what he had destroyed probably would have had evidentiary value to the prosecutors.

Weismueller then proceeded to lie to the prosecutors by saying that he had only advised Wink to destroy the evidence, but did not tell them that he had actually destroyed the digital evidence himself.

From the OLR report, Weismueller's own confession shows how serious this is (emphasis mine):
Based upon Wiesmueller’s statements, the prosecutor obtained a search warrant for Wiesmueller’s law office. At the investigator’s request, Wiesmueller came to the office and was present during the execution of the search warrant. Wiesmueller provided the investigator with copies of the material that Wiesmueller had copied from his client’s computer. In the course of providing this information, Wiesmueller revealed the content of his discussions with his client during their initial conference and offered his impression to the investigator that the computer files and emails were “the most damning things.” Wiesmueller reiterated that he told his client “to get rid of” the evidence. He did not admit that he deleted the information from the client’s computer.
The case was eventually referred to the Waukesha County District Attorney, Brad Schimel, who is
Brad Schimel
the Republican candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General. Schimel's handling of the case was utterly disgraceful:
The prosecutor referred the matter of Wiesmueller’s destruction of evidence to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office as the alleged crime had been committed at Wiesmueller’s law office located in Waukesha County. The Waukesha County District Attorney agreed to forego filing criminal charges against Wiesmueller provided he made a thorough and complete report of his conduct to the Office of Lawyer Regulation. Wiesmueller reported his conduct to OLR in July of 2012. He did not incur any criminal sanctions as a result of his conduct in destroying the digital evidence of his client’s crimes.
So, instead of charging Weismueller with at least a couple of felonies, which would have been slam dunk convictions, Schimel let his fellow Republican off with being publicly reprimanded.

This alone shows just what kind of Attorney General Schimel would be. With the high level of corruption in this state, he is exactly the wrong kind of person for the job.

That alone should disqualify Schimel. But with all things Walkergate related, there's more. There's always more.

Digging through my archives on these two until now mysteries, I found these two paragraphs about the matter:
Yesterday, I noted that Darlene Wink's sentencing hearing was adjourned for four months in order to guarantee her continued cooperation against Tim Russell and a mystery case in Waukesha. I speculated that it might have something to do with Walker's campaign.

Since then, Marie Rohde, writing for, reported that Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel wasn't going to prosecute the suspect because he couldn't "demonstrate that he knew what he was doing was wrong." Schimel described it as a "side issue" not involving campaigning from work. What he didn't say is whether it had something to do with illegally coordination between Walker's campaign and Walker's county executive office.
Schimel knew exactly what had happened and that they were felonies but still chose not to charge his fellow Republican. Then he lied to the public about it to help cover up the involvement of Scott Walker and his campaign.

Not only is Schimel unfit for Attorney General, he is unfit for his current position as Waukesha County District Attorney.

Cross posted at Crooks and Liars


  1. Wow.

    Good work.

    fyi "Attorney Christopher Wiesmueller" hotlink does not work.

    Crooked as sh*t!

    1. What was this case about?

    2. Oh wow. Found this.

      " In denying that fairly aggressive motion on October 30, 2009, Judge Crabb orders a hearing to reexamine the certification of the class, noting that Rule 23 requires a judge to consider whether class counsel has the experience and resources to effectively serve the interests of the class. I will spare you the gory details of Judge Crabb's analysis of Wiesmueller's experience and resources, but suffice it to say that she believed he was "over his head.""

      Do not miss the rest.

  2. Some more quotes on this:

    "I think the gist of it was I overly aggressively defended my client and I think that when you aggressively defend people it makes sense that occasionally penalties are thrown at you. In this case, it was a reprimand," said Wiesmueller, who earned his law degree from Oklahoma City University in 2007 and holds a political science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

    Internet meanderings?

    "I do not believe my client committed a crime," Wiesmueller said last week. "She came in here and presented (her Internet meanderings) and after discussing it with her I did not feel she committed a crime and frankly it was not good for her or her employer to have that information in the public domain. But under all circumstances I don't think I destroyed evidence of a crime."

  3. Wink, who was also an officer of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County,

    As was, apparently, Mr Wiesmuller.


    1. "Republican Party
      Of Milwaukee County
      December5, 2009

      David Karst

      Darlene Wink
      1st Vice Chairman

      Andrew Davis
      2nd Vice Chairman

      Herb Ripka

      Christopher Wiesmueller

    2. Innnn-teresting. Kinda like how the Waukesha Co GOP leadership had major connections to the Bill Kramer cover-up.

      It seriously reeks under the surface in the burbs, doesn't it?

    3. Here another connection. Ummm nothing to see here.

      Wiesmueller's other work-related experience includes interning with the City of Milwaukee as a legislative assistant where he worked with two aldermen and the city clerk.

      "I'd always hoped to go into public service but there weren't a lot of jobs after I graduated law school," Wiesmueller said.

  4. This is great work, and real journalism. Spread it around, because I'm betting J-S "Watchdog" Bice is too busy working on another tip from Media TraKKKers to actually look at these public documents.

  5. Capper, great work.

  6. Thanks for the work. Really appreciate it. This blog and a few select others is where I go for my Doe-related and Walker news.

  7. Schimmel also called Kathy Nicolaus the day after she "found" all those Prosser vote to reassure her that "everyone understands". Pretty sure it would have been Schimmel's job to prosecute Kathy if it turned out it was her that opened all those sealed ballot bags or perhaps created all those votes out of thin air. Wouldn't Schimmel have known about the other irregularities that seem to plague the elections she presided over? i'm not sure this guy is gona be able to exercise any sort of discretion in any office he holds.

  8. How does Susan Happ use this or how does the Democratic party use this to alert voters Schimel is corrupt like most if his party and is not fit for public office?

  9. Easy answer- "Brad Schimel will work for the Chicago-style Republican machine that he owes his career to. I'll work for the people of Wisconsin, and take on anyone who breaks the law, regardless of who they are. I'm Susan Happ, and I support this message."

    And in the next ad, I'd mention that Schimel's such a sicko that he'd be OK with interracial marriage being banned, if his fellow Republicans passed such a law. Because he just did say that.

  10. Seriously...we have some big problems with the current crop of republican leaders in this state. These are not statesmen with high ideals and strong moral compasses. They are politicians using the legal system to aid their corruption.

  11. I'm socked that Blaska isn't standing up for his Republican brothers. Maybe he is too busy wasting taxpayer dollars with frivolous lawsuits against the Madison School board as a way to help Walker. Blaska is a hypocrite. Why waste public money and whine about Madison's decision? Stop your whining Blaska. Stop standing in the way. Not everyone agrees with your policies. You are hired by the same dark money that helps Walker. Unions aren't thugs - you, Walker and your greedy backers are an insult to EVERYONE.

  12. Attorney General candidates answer questions (

    "Question: How would you approach environmental enforcement?

    Schimel: It is the Attorney General's responsibility and constitutional duty to defend and enforce the law the way it is written by the legislature, regardless of personal opinion. Wisconsin should enforce environmental regulation vigorously, but within the authority granted to the regulatory agencies by the legislature."

    So how does the Attny Gen job differ from the Waukesah DA job in which Schimel does not enforce all laws passed by the legislature all the time?

    1. So how does the Attny Gen job differ from the Waukesah DA job in which Schimel does not enforce all laws passed by the legislature all the time?

      Maybe it depends whose tit is caught in the wringer?

  13. Mr. Schimel gives us selective prosecution that favors fat, rich, white, male republicans. Note to fat, rich, white, male republicans...the long term demographics say you are up shit creek without a paddle. I think the U.S. Supreme Court understands that dynamic. Governor Pee in a Cup Vaginal Ultrasound and Boy Wonder Brad do not get it. Go ahead, keep pushing for voter suppression and passing laws that beat women down. Miss Forward Wisconsin sits atop the dome in Madison and boy is she pissed.