Thoughts on Kelly Rindfleisch’s John Doe Emails
Rindfleisch, you may remember, was a top Scott
Walker aide when he was Milwaukee County executive. At the same
time—literally—she was fundraising for Walker’s preferred lieutenant governor
After much ado, Rindfleisch pleaded guilty to
misconduct in office. Her appeal of that plea deal is what had led to the
release of documents.
So let’s go back to the beginning.
According to prosecutors, Rindfleisch exchanged more
than a thousands emails in a few short months of county/campaign work.
Just a handful of those thousand has been released,
and, obviously, they’re incriminating—incriminating enough to get Rindfleisch
to plead guilty to a crime.
From what we’ve seen in the Rindfleisch case and the
O’Donnell Park case, Scott Walker and his top campaign aides were routinely
copied on county emails. His campaign staffers even directed the county’s
response to the O’Donnell Park tragedy—even going to so far as to tell Rindfleisch
to make sure the office was scrubbed of incriminating documents!
And as one attorney told me way back when, if Walker
is copied on any of those emails combining county and campaign work, “He’s
As we’ve seen, Walker wasn’t toast and he didn’t get
burned. The district attorney closed the first investigation without charging
Walker. Or, for that matter, the campaign aides copied on those
emails—including R.J. Johnson, who was Walker’s campaign advisor and,
apparently, the spokesman for Wisconsin Club for Growth at the same time.
Now, with the knowledge of the existence of John Doe 2, we know that the district
attorney was playing a longer game. I’ve always thought that Walker wasn’t
charged in the initial John Doe because the second one—the one the governor’s
allies are trying to stop—would yield larger crimes.
I can’t predict what, exactly, will be in those emails released next week. But I’ll bet that Scott Walker’s name is all over them.