Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is arguing that a federal court has no authority to overturn the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s order calling on prosecutors to hand over documents gathered in a recently halted John Doe investigation into one of Gov. Scott Walker’s previous re-election campaigns.
In an amicus brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on Friday, Schimel argued that the Doe prosecutors “have no right to possess such documents.” The state Supreme Court in July halted a John Doe investigation into whether Walker’s campaign, in the recall elections of 2011 and 2012, had worked illegally with outside groups.
The justices later decided that nothing illegal had occurred and demanded that all documents gathered in the investigation be sent to them under seal. The John Doe prosecutors have yet to comply with that order, arguing that they needed to preserve evidence as they try to defend themselves in a lawsuit filed by Cindy Archer, a former aide to Walker.
Archer’s home was raided during the investigation, which she alleges violated her rights. Friday’s brief was filed as part of her lawsuit against Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm and other prosecutors in the John Doe investigation.
Schimel’s brief argues that the federal court should not overturn a state court’s order.
“The unmistakable goal of this highly unusual request is to permit the (John Doe prosecutors) to retain many documents that they were never lawfully entitled to possess, given that such documents were seized from citizens that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has found were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing,” according to Schimel’s brief.Follow @TDR_WLJDan