After the media establishment breathlessly “reported” last week that Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker was being accused of a “criminal” conspiracy over campaign finance violations, now the prosecutor involved is admitting that no one is charging Walker with anything.
Now, almost a week later, prosecutor Francis Schmitz has finally directed his own lawyer to correct the record, saying he “has made no conclusions as to whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime.”
The truth is, of course, that there currently isn’t any investigation into Gov. Walker.
Schmitz went on to say, “At the time the investigation was halted, Governor Walker was not a target of the investigation.” Nor had Walker been served a subpoena.
By “halted,” Schmitz means that his investigation was shut down by no less than two judges, one federal and one from the state.
This is all quite a bit different than the conclusion the media promulgated when it jumped to the story on June 19 that Prosecutor Francis Schmitz was charging Walker with a “criminal scheme.”
Many members of the media claimed that these “new” charges spelled the end of Walker’s career. But few of these media outlets informed readers that the charges were not new but were contained in months-old papers released by a federal judge, because the prosecutors were being sued.
As it happens, it is the prosecutor quoted in the documents who is being accused of something, not Walker. Schmitz is being accused of prosecutorial misconduct.
The papers were released by Federal Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook, who unsealed the court documents in response to a request by the Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of the groups that out-of-control prosecutors targeted with their “John Doe” investigation. The conservative group wanted citizens to see how unfair the prosecutors were with their investigation.
This “corrected” record about the non-existence of any charges against Walker comes on the very same day that Walker’s Democrat opponent for the 2014 Governor’s race put out a TV ad attempting to further the false claim that the Gov. was being charged with a “criminal scheme.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org