Scott Walker's John Doe Scandal: Then and Now

Feb 25, 2014

It’s been one week since over 27,000 pages of John Doe related documents were released, and since Walker won’t talk or answer the tough questions, we’re revisiting comments he’s made about the investigation in the past and comparing them to what we know now after reading thousands of pages of unsealed documents.  

August 20 of 2010, authorities seized the work office computer of long-time Walker aide Tim Russell.  When asked about the confiscation on August 22 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Scott Walker claimed to have no knowledge of the event, stating “Tim’s not said anything to me,”. In addition, when asked if he was surprised by the timing of the probe, which took place just weeks before the Republican gubernatorial primary, Walker said “I can’t be surprised by something I don’t know about.”

Email records released last week suggest that Walker had to know a lot more than he let on to the press in 2010. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that on the evening of August 20, Walker’s county aides sent emails informing Walker that they had been contacted by the Journal Sentinel. Walker replied “We don’t have a comment.” a sentiment shared by his chief of staff Tom Nardelli who sent a message saying “To protect everyone, our comment should be that we don’t know anything about it,” 

On August 21, Walker’s spokeswoman Fran McLaughin sent an email to deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleish referencing a closed-door meeting with Walker and Tim Russell that she thought had to do with the calls from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. On August 23, Scott Walker commented to the Journal Sentinel that he no clue what was going on.

How could Scott Walker not know about the office computer seizure or the probe when email records show just hours after the confiscation he and some of his most trusted staff exchanged messages on how to handle media inquiries on the subject? Walker had to know about the incident and the probe when he spoke with the Journal Sentinel on August 23.  

Scott Walker hasn’t been totally truthful on his knowledge of John Doe details for a very long time. It’s time for Walker to come clean about his break of the public trust and tell the people of Wisconsin what he knew about illegal campaign coordination and when he first knew it.