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Attorney tries to persuade committee to OK John Doe bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An attorney trying to stop a John Doe investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups is trying to persuade a legislative committee to adopt a Republican bill constraining such probes.

John Doe investigations are similar to grand jury probes in which information is gathered in secret and information is tightly controlled. The bill would prohibit using John Does to investigate political wrongdoing, limit probes to six months and allow witnesses to speak publicly.

Dean Strang represents an unnamed petitioner seeking to stop the Walker recall probe. He told the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee during a hearing Wednesday the Walker probe has gone on for 2-1/2 years. He says witnesses should be allowed to speak and the bill leaves other investigative methods intact.

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