John Doe Appeal Rejected by SCOTUS
On October 4, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal to hear arguments on the John Doe II investigation. The probe sought to find evidence of criminal wrongdoing during Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign. Specifically, the investigation alleged illegal coordination between the campaign and third-party interest groups. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that no such illegal activity occurred.
Governor Walker showed his support for the decision saying, “The U.S. Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and multiple judges have all reached the same conclusion with every ruling – that this investigation by prosecutors was without merit and thus must be ended.” Eric O’Keefe, president of the conservative group targeted in the investigation, the Wisconsin Club for Growth, told the media on Monday, “We call upon the prosecutors to admit their wrongdoing and close their files. They should end their desperate rear-guard action, surrender these unlawfully seized materials, and submit to the lawful authority of the court system.”
The appeal was brought by district attorneys Ismael Ozanne of Dane County, Larry Nelson of Iowa County, and John Chisholm of Dane County. In a statement released Monday, the three said, “We are disappointed by today’s Supreme Court order denying our Petition for Certiorari. The state supreme court decision, left intact by today’s order, prohibits Wisconsin citizens from enacting laws requiring the full disclosure of disguised contributions to a candidate, i.e., monies expended by third parties at the direction of a candidate for the benefit of that candidate’s election.”
With nowhere left to appeal the case, Ozanne, Nelson, and Chisholm have no way to continue the investigation. The U.S. Supreme Court did not issue a reason for denying the appeal.