This is essential viewing.
I hope readers will watch and share.
“Former Waukesha Co. DA Paul Bucher, and former Kenosha Co. DA Bob Jambois, share their takes on what was learned in the huge release of documents from a secret investigation into campaign activity in Scott Walker’s county office.”
One elementary quote to commit to memory is Bob Jambois’ rebuttal to the “it’s a witch hunt” claim the right wing makes:
“Remember: Every single one of the targets in the last round – every single one of them was convicted.
It’s not as though –
If it was a witchhunt, then you would think that the convictions would be reversed.
That hasn’t been the case.” – Bob Jambois
I can’t embed the video here. I have copied the show’s ALL CAPS transcript and cleaned it up considerably and you can find that below.
I apologize in advance for the spelling mistakes that I know are in the names but I have to walk out the door in a moment and can’t review this right now.
Mike Gousha: Today, on “Upfront” — the John Doe documents. [my note: #WalkerDocs]
thousands of pages offer more insight into what went on in scott walker’s milwaukee county office.
Next, the impact on governor walker’s national ambitions. plus, two former prosecutors on the value of john doe probes.
I’ll ask republican paul bucher, and democrat bob jambois if this investigation appears political in nature.
Then, a tax trade off. higher sales taxes for lower property or income taxes?
Lieutenant governor rebecca kleefisch on the ideas for changing the way we pay taxes.
Covering the issues important to wisconsin, this is “Upfront ” with mike gousha. hello again everyone and welcome to “upfront.”
By now, you’ve probably read, or read about, the thousands of emails sent by staffers who worked for then county executive scott walker.
Emails from the first john doe investigation were released last week.
That investigation led to the conviction of six former walker aides and allies, including two staffers who were convicted of doing campaign work on the public’s dime.
The documents also show that investigators thought walker was aware of some of this activity.
From the start critics called the john doe a “witch hunt.”
The first probe has ended, but a second one way is under way.
We’re talking about all of this today with two former prosecutors, former Kenosha county d.a. bob jambois, and former waukesha county d.a. paul bucher. and for the record, attorney paul bucher represented clients in the first doe probe.
Thanks to both of you for being here.
I know both of you have some strongly held the political beliefs, but i want to talk to you as former prosecutors today.
What did we learn from the release of those Kelly Rindfleisch [#WalkerDocs] emails.
Paul Bucher, I’ll begin with you.
Paul Bucher: Well, first it was pervasive.
I’ve never seen 27,000 pages – I can’t imagine that
…It tells me that i think they had the right idea, but they needed somebody in their vetting the process.
M: When you say they have the right idea, what do you mean?
P: Using their personal laptops — that’s a good idea. I think there’s an e-mail from kelly indicating I’m doing things on my private laptop that I can’t be doing on my county computer.
But then they only went halfway.
I mean – and then to put the router in there.
Somebody should’ve said ‘time out’. [makes a referee’s time-out gesture with his hands]
You got the halfway but you really need to do it a little bit differently.
This is not going to pass the smell test.
They thought that – the open records law – they could avoid that – and they did. But you cannot avoid a search warrant.
They can come in and take what they want – and that’s what happened. And this is is the first of many.
M: More e-mails to come, as you said?
Bob Jambois: I don’t think they were looking to avoid the open records law they were looking to evade the open records law and that the use of private computers and laptops under these circumstances is completely inappropriate.
What i noticed was how in the legislature in my recent tenure there (M: You worked for Peter Barca. B: Yes. For Peter Barca) …was how very, very careful legislators were and staffers were about separating work from inside the building from outside the building.
We did not bring our personal laptops into our offices.
They were left outside the building, which was where they belong.
There was no reason to bring a personal laptop into a government office because the only reason you’re having it there was to do campaign work, which you are not supposed to do when you are in a government office.
When you’re in a government office
the taxpayers are paying you to do government work not to run a campaign and what was shown here is that Kelly Rindfleisch came in right from the get-go – half her job was to do campaign policy work.
M: When i looked through the documents, i was struck by the fact that the key investigator in this case believed that then county executive walker knew what was going on, yet there were no charges. he has not been charged with anything. [points to Paul Bucher] As a prosecutor – –
P: I talked to david, during the John Doe I, (M: The investigator. P: Yes. The investigator for the DA’s office) and he felt pretty strongly, but i just do not think they were able to make the match, and that’s why a lot of people called it a witchhunt.
M: You have a Republican politics. You don’t think it was a witchhunt?
P: I think it was presented to Landgraf and Chisholm and others, and I think they’re straight up prosecutors and they really had little choice.
And Judge Nettesheim – I was critical because i thought there was so much information being leaked, but on that i don’t think it was a witchhunt.
What happened, i believe, and i have done enough john doe’s , is that during John Doe I – as I call it – they had a specific focus, improper use of funds. And during the John Doe people come in and say the weirdest things, and it has nothing to do with the focus, and you sort of put that to the side. you do not ignore it.
You say, “we will get to that later.”
And I think that’s the genesis of the john doe 2 is now what do we do with all this great information we have?
We have to launch a john doe 2. I think that’s what you’re seeing.
M: Do you think that is what is happening here? Or – ? Now that we’re in this second John Doe?
[Mike Gousha pointing to Bob Jambois]
B: I think that when you look at the – – first of all the e-mails that were part of the original criminal complaint against Kelly Rindfleisch and you look at these additional e-mails that came out, there is clear evidence – there is very clear evidence that there was additional wrongdoing and there is additional need for more investigation.
When they talk about John Doe II, what they are simply saying is we’re going to investigate this further and we have probable cause to do so based upon this information that was uncovered during john doe 1.
They take that information and use it as grounds for probable cause to issue additional subpoenas. Now in most of these John Does, it’s not the subjects or the objects themselves who are coming in and testifying. It’s typically law-enforcement investigators who have gathered additional information and are setting forth a probable cause for additional subpoenas.
M: Could you see how republicans – people who support the governor – would say this is a witchhunt? Could you see how that could be part of the conversation?
B: You know, that’s what democrats were saying about the u.s. attorney’s office going after the doyle administration a number of years back when they were going after georgia thompson, what i perceived then and perceive now to have been a witchhunt.
In Georgia thompson’s case,
[cross-talk – sounds like maybe Mike Gousha said “so the prosecution is in the eyes of the beholder”]
B: Well, in Georgia Thompson’s case it was confirmed by the seventh circuit that there was a witchhunt. there was no evidence there.
I mean, I’ve never heard of the seventh circuit court of appeals ordering the release of the defendant immediately after arguments and that’s what happened there.
I can understand the political overtones, the intensity of that political stuff. And that’s one of the reasons why prosecutors generally hate doing this kind of stuff.
We don’t like our work being reviewed by republicans and democrats and right-wingers and left-wingers.
Most of what prosecutors do is apolitical.
We are prosecuting to domestic violence and homicide cases.
That’s our bread-and-butter and that’s what we prefer to do.
M: There is some talk – Brad Shimmel, the Waukesha County DA [pointing to Paul Bucher before saying ] A job you used to hold.
Has said we need to change the way we do john does a little bit, maybe we need more oversight of John Does. How do you feel about that.
P: Well, you know, John Doe – for people that don’t understand – is really the state counterpart of the federal grand jury – it has the same – except you DO have oversight because people have to understand the judge – the John Doe judge – really is in charge of John Doe.
M: Like Neal Nettesheim..
P: Like Neal Nettesheim and the current judge
They signed the criminal complaint, not the prosecutor.
They signed the warrant.
They signed everything.
Obviously, they rely upon prosecutors of course, but there is oversight, and there has been some changes. i found it to be a very helpful investigative tool in cases where people told me to pound sand and “I’m not talking to you”.
They’re going to talk, maybe not to me, but they will talk.
I do not see any significant changes, and i do not see how you could have a significant overhaul without gutting the purpose of the john doe.
I think it’s very helpful when used properly.
Fran Schmidtz. Great guy. Straight shooter.
M: He’s now involved in John Doe II.
B: By the way, i would echo that. no one can seriously impugn the integrity or question the objectivity of Fran Schmitt. he has no prior political history of any sort. Furthermore, there’s no grounds for questioning the integrity of this judge or the preceding judge, Judge Nettesheim.
When they say additional oversight, i don’t know what they are talking about.
That’s why we have a judge overseeing it.
Judges under our system of government are deemed to be objective and impartial, and there’s no reason to question that in this instance.
Remember: Every single one of the targets in the last round – every single one of them was convicted.
It’s not as though –
If it was a witchhunt, then you would think that the convictions would be reversed.
That hasn’t been the case.
M: I’m going to have to wrap things up, click discussion, but we appreciate you coming in. good to see you both.
Our discussion of the doe probe will continue. later on upfront, i’ll ask abc’s political director about the national implications for governor walker.
But next, lieutenant governor rebecca kleefisch on the doe documents — she’s mentioned in them — and changing the way you pay taxes. is a trade off in the works?
We’ll be right back.