Is John Doe 2 Dead or Alive?
Eh. I don’t think so.
The Doe’s alive, sure, but as far as I can tell it barely has a pulse at the moment.
The new ruling covers
four objections raised by attorneys for anonymous parties affected by the Doe.
(I hesitate to say that they’re targets. Who knows that they are.)
These objections were really weak, really just a delaying tactic. Throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick.
Not surprisingly, the
judges dismissed those objections pretty handily.
So that should revive
the Doe, right? I mean, Scott Walker's campaign and these outside, allegedly independent groups were illegally coordinating, right? It's so obvious!
I’m not an attorney,
but I don't think the Doe is on solid ground right now. The ruling by Judge Gregory Peterson in January quashed the subpoenas sent to three
groups—apparently including Walker's campaign committee—saying that the groups didn’t violate campaign finance laws by
Well, that may be
what Peterson ruled. Remember—that tidbit was reported in an unsigned op-ed in
the Wall Street Journal. Peterson’s ruling hasn’t been made public. Nor is the
Journal’s editorial page an unbiased source. It’s closely linked to officials
of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of the groups that received a subpoena. The Club has obvious reasons to spin the story to suit their case.
So until we see
Peterson’s full order, we won’t know the status of the Doe. The special
prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, can appeal it, of course. But we won’t know how
strong his case is until we know how broad Peterson’s order is.
A little sunlight,
please, before declaring the Doe dead—or alive.
I’ll have much more
on this in next week’s Shepherd.