Controversy swirls over media's handling of John Doe documents - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Controversy swirls over media's handling of John Doe documents

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) and his allies are coming down on mainstream media outlets for their handling of unsealed documents from the second John Doe investigation.

On June 19th, news outlets across the state, including 27 News, reported on unsealed federal court documents in which prosecutors seemed to lay out what they called an "extensive criminal scheme" to bypass state election laws by Gov. Scott Walker.

"First time the words 'criminal scheme' were in there.  First time that a variety of details that hadn't been released before were made public," said Scott Bauer, Capitol Bureau Chief for the Associated Press. 

"It was accurate," said Jack Craver, a political reporter for the Capital Times.  "That's what prosecutors alleged in the documents."
   
But a week later, an attorney for the special prosecutor put out a statement saying those documents merely laid out a legal theory, not the actual existence of a crime.

"There have been no charges.  There were no charges.  You've got the special prosecutor reiterating that now.  Not only charges, (he) hasn't even issued a subpoena to me," Gov. Walker told 27 News on Thursday.

"What, from Walker's perspective, was unfair was that, as Scott (Bauer) said, there was an inference that this was something, that this was a prosecution, that this was a pending, that charges we're going to be brought against the Governor, which isn't the case," said Craver.

But the special prosecutor also didn't clear Walker's campaign as the possible subject of that investigation.

"The John Doe investigation starts as kind of a broad look at activity and then later prosecutors determine whether anyone, whether charges should be brought against anyone," said Bauer. "So, since the investigation's on hold they hadn't gotten to that point yet."

The discussion continues with Bauer and Craver on Capitol City Sunday, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on WKOW. 

Madison District 1 Alder Lisa Subeck (D) is also on the show to talk about her run to replace Rep. Brett Hulsey in the 78th Assembly District.
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