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Walker: politics is driving force behind John Doe investigation

EAU CLAIRE, Wis (WRN)  As he toured the state Monday, Governor Scott Walker continued to argue that prosecutors behind a John Doe investigation targeting Republicans and conservative groups were motivated by partisan politics.

The John Doe, which was looking into allegations that conservative groups coordinated with Republican candidates during Wisconsin’s recall election, was launched in Milwaukee County. District attorneys from other counties got involved eventually, and the case was handed over to a special prosecutor because of concerns about keeping accusations of partisan politics out of the picture. During a stop in Eau Claire Monday, Walker argued that the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office was still “a driving force” behind the investigation after others became involved.

Walker says U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa also backed that view, noting in his written comments that prosecutors were “trying to win in the court of public opinion,” after they failed to win in a court of law.

Walker had been quiet about the John Doe investigation for months, frequently deflecting questions from reporters about the secret investigation. The governor says he decided to break that silence after records were released last week, because “once they dished it out to the public, we weren’t going to sit back and not respond to it.”

Walker notes that judges in state and federal courts have rejected the claims made in those documents, and that the investigation has resulted in no charges. He argues that the headlines in the papers last week should not have been about accusations that he was involved in a “criminal scheme.” Rather, he says they should have been “documents finally reveal losing arguments, because that’s what they were. They were the losing arguments in both the state and the federal courts.”

Prosecutors are appealing a federal judge’s ruling that halted the investigation earlier this year.