Can't Someone Please Make The John Doe Madness Stop?

Jeff Wagner

Can't Someone Please Make The John Doe Madness Stop?

By Jeff Wagner. CREATED Apr 18, 2014

Can't someone make the foolishness that is John Chisholm's Son of John Doe probe stop? Please?

A number of months ago, John Chisholm and others started an investigation into activities of various conservative groups during the unsuccessful effort to recall Scott Walker.  In pursuing their goal, the investigators have used tactics that in my opinion are questionable at best and outrageous at worst.

Since the investigation has begun, the judge supervising the investigation has quashed subpoenas issued by prosecutors saying that their theory of the case does not support a conclusion that the law has been violated.  In other words, the judge says that even if facts can be developed that support their theory, the facts don't constitute a crime.

The prosecutors have appealed and the issue may be heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

At the same time, a federal judge is allowing a lawsuit against the various prosecutors and their henchmen to proceed alleging that the constitutional rights of the targets of the investigation may have been violated.  The next step (which undoubtedly strikes fear into the hearts of the investigators) is that the targets of the investigation will be able to depose the investigators.

I can't imagine that anybody involved in this prosecution is to eager to testify under oath about their actions.

As with their loss in State court, the John Doe prosecutors and investigators are appealing their defeat in Federal court.  

Despite the fact that the Federal case is at a very early stage, taxpayers are already on the hook for over $100,000 in legal fees run up by attorneys defending the prosecutors. Keep in mind, the federal case is at a very early stage.  My guess is that fees will quickly skyrocket if discovery is allowed to proceed.

So what do we really have?

We have a potential prosecution (of only conservative groups) based on a legal theory that at least one State judge says has no merit!  Seriously, can't we spend money prosecuting real crime?

We also has a prosecution that in the eyes of at least one Federal judge has been conducted in a manner that raises serious constitutional issues.  While the prosecutors try to justify their conduct, the meter on attorneys fees is spinning like a merry-go-round at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Sometimes, when you've dug yourself into a deep hole, it's best to simply climb out, declare victory and move on.

During the 1 p.m. hour of Friday's radio show, we'll discuss whether the current John Doe investigation has become the equivalent of a dry well that costs taxpayers more and more money each day?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section - and be sure to check back later to hear a replay of the conversation. 

Jeff Wagner

Jeff Wagner

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Jeff Wagner recently completed his 15th year as a talk show host at 620 WTMJ. Jeff's show, which airs Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m., features stories which you might not have heard about elsewhere and emphasizes Jeff's common sense approach to issues.