Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has been guarded, to say the least, about a corruption investigation going on in Wisconsin of which he may or may not be a part. He has transferred money from his campaign into his legal defense fund, but simultaneously insists that he has no need — as of yet– for that fund.
But in court last week, one of Walker’s closest confidants contradicted the Governor’s claim that he’s been fully cooperative with the investigation, which has already claimed three of Walker’s former staffers and associates. The probe is aimed at locating government officials who engaged in a range of criminal activities while employed by Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive.
Tim Russell, an old Walker adviser who has himself been charged with felony embezzlement, told a local reporter that Walker has not been cooperative with the corruption probe. In fact, Russell’s information shows that Walker has been ‘stonewalling’ investigators. Esquire offers more detail:
The most significant turn of events came last week, on May 31, just as Walker and Barrett were preparing to debate that night, when Daniel Bice, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter who’s been an absolute bulldog on this investigation, published a damaging piece in which Bice said that, contrary to Walker’s repeated insistence that he had called for the John Doe investigation himself, the investigators on the case opened the investigation themselves after two years of stonewalling by Walker and his administration. Bice’s story was based on a document filed with the court in the Russell case. [...]
Tim Russell’s lawyer — and, therefore, Tim Russell — had made public damaging information about Scott Walker and undermined the whole ethical basis of the governor’s response to charges that he had misused his public office for private gain. It is not unreasonable to assume that this either was a warning shot — take care of me or you’re going down, too — or evidence that Russell already has rolled.
Russell’s might have “rolled,” as Esquire phrases it, because he knows it will lead to a significantly less harsh sentence for himself. But in light of the fact that tomorrow is Wisconsin’s recall election, the potential consequences are only growing for Scott Walker.