Ouch. This one's going to leave a mark.
One of the biggest Republican talking points in the Scott Walker/John Doe Probe have been allegations that the John Doe prosecutors have been leaking information about the investigation. It's been front and center on all the RW talk radio stations in Wisconsin for months. And today that's been shown to be dead wrong.
Responding to claims they had leaked information on the John Doe investigation involving some of Gov. Scott Walker's aides, Milwaukee County prosecutors say two of the leaks came from attorneys for one of the defendants.
Michael Maistelman, a lawyer for defendant Timothy Russell, sent an email to radio talk show host Charlie Sykes on Jan. 22, tipping off Sykes to the likelihood that two other former Walker aides would be charged that week. Those aides, Darlene Wink and Kelly Rindfleisch, were charged four days later on Jan. 26.
Sykes and other backers of the Republican governor have accused prosecutors of illegally leaking information on the Doe investigation, which was launched more than two years ago.Soooooo - it's the lawyers for the already indicted aides that are the leakers and not the John Doe prosecutors. I'm betting the farm that this won't get a second of air time on RW talk radio around here.
Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf says in a filing in the Russell case that it was remarkable Russell's lawyers had complained of a "not-so-secret" John Doe investigation when they disclosed information themselves.
Landgraf also points out that Russell's lawyers released material in a May 30 filing that suggested that Walker's staff had stalled the prosecutors' investigation while Walker was Milwaukee County executive and a candidate for governor in 2010. That filing came the day before a debate in the gubernatorial recall election between Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and became a prime focus of that debate.
And I still wonder who's paying their legal bills. Nobody's talking (or answering) about that.
Charlie Sykes is one of the most well known of the RW hate radio hosts in Wisconsin. He broadcasts from WTMJ AM, one of two powerhouse AM radio stations in Milwaukee (and also has a television program on WTMJ TV) with coverage throughout southeastern Wisconsin. However, he hasn't been alone in promoting the accusations that Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholms office has been leaking information - you can hear it on every RW radio station in the state along with accusations that the John Doe probe is a political attack on Governor Walker while ignoring the 13 Walker current and former aides who have been given immunity and the 15 indictments already handed down already.
This is interesting not only because it's clearly a lie that Sykes knew he was telling - he was himself the recipient of an email containing one of the leaks he complained came from Chisholms office - but because our RW rag, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel apparantly didn't ask him or other RW radio hosts about these revelations. There isn't even an "unavailable for comment" notation in the article.
Yes, it's a tiny article in a newspaper clearly once again fully in the tank for Walker and the GOP, but at least it did appear, flawed as it is.
I'm still on the lookout for other John Doe news, but, as I have said many times, there is a tight lid on this investigation. I don't care how long it lasts because the prosecutors have to get this right. Scott Walker has mega money behind him, millions he can transfer from his campaign war chest to his criminal defense fund, and plenty more millions where that came from.
When the probe ends and the final indictments are made, they had better have every duck in a row, a warehouse of evidence, the correct font size, all there Ts crossed and Is dotted, spelling and grammer checked at least a dozen times, and the correct paper size and weight. There will be an army of lawyers waiting to loudly complain about any real or imagined irregularities and make them the focus of the discussion and not the substance. They'll only get one bite of the apple.
PS: There's still nothing on the federal investigation. Looks like a tight lid has been placed on that one, too. Stay tuned.