Friday, January 27, 2012

Scott Walker's Non-Denial Denial in the John Doe Investigation

Here's Scott Walker answering questions about the John Doe investigation today. Note the carefully chosen language:
"I think it's very clear when all of this is done, no matter how much time it takes, and again my campaign has been involved with cooperating with them for more than a year, I have every confidence that when this is completed, people will see that our integrity remains intact," Walker said.
Emphasis added, of course.

You know what words I didn't read? I did not participate in any illegal campaigning on taxpayer time, or I did not coordinate any illegal campaign activities while county executive, or I unequivocally reject as false any accusations that I abused my previous office, etc. Instead, Walker answers with a response that was obviously clearly by his counsel.

There are some other gems in the piece, at least one of which is obscured by the secretive nature inherent to John Doe investigations. Like this one:

Walker declined to answer a question about whether he or his attorney had been contacted by investigators. By contrast, he said last week that he had not yet talked with anyone in Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's office.

"I have not, and I certainly would be willing if they asked me to in the future," Walker told the Journal Sentinel last week.


Walker said if he had been aware of any other county employees doing political work with county resources on county time, he would have acted the same way he acted in the Wink matter.

"If we had known about anyone else, we would have taken the same action," Walker said.

Asked about the proximity of his office to space occupied by Kelly Rindfleisch, his then-deputy chief of staff in 2010, and whether he knew what Rindfleisch was doing, Walker declined to comment, saying he wanted to abide by the rules of the John Doe probe and not provide details publicly.
If Walker hasn't been contacted by the investigators, then I don't think he is necessarily bound by the same gag order that prevents those involved in the proceeding to keep quiet. I'm not sure about that, but it does seem to follow. If it is true, he's either lying about not being contacted by the investigators or really doesn't want to have to answer any questions about Rindfleisch at all.

Seeing as his closest associates are the one being served with subpoenas these days, it should be clear by now that Walker is a possible, if not probable, target of the investigation. It's a Little Big Horn strategy that can only really point to one individual. Walker's words today are the first public sigh that I've seen that he knows he's in a ton of legal trouble. It's usually the first sign of someone who is going to be in a lot of trouble in the near future. Maybe that has something to do with Darlene Wink's agreement to cooperate in the investigation.

As for Brett Davis -- his words today seem to have marked himself as impending roadkill. He gave the only answer worse than a non-denial denial: he gave a "no comment." That's never a good sign.

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