Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) team was part of an ugly controversy a few years ago, which the Republican presidential candidate probably thought was behind him. New evidence suggests otherwise.
At issue is a 2010 scandal – not to be confused with his 2012 campaign-finance scandal – stemming from Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County executive. The story gets a little convoluted, but the gist of the story is that some Walker aides actually went to jail after, among other things, using public resources for partisan political purposes.
The far-right governor insisted, publicly and repeatedly, that the criminal investigation had nothing to do with him. Asked in 2012 whether he personally was a target of the probe, Walker said at the time, “Absolutely not. One hundred percent wrong. Could not be more wrong. It’s just more of the liberal scare tactics out there.”
It now appears those claims weren’t true. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Walker “was under criminal investigation in 2011 for misconduct in office – even as he insisted he wasn’t.”
Wednesday’s filing shows the governor was at the center of the probe, contradicting Walker’s repeated claims at the time that he was not a target of the investigation.“I submit that there is probable cause to believe that Scott Walker, John Hiller and Andrew Jensen, in concert together, committed a felony, i.e., Misconduct in Public Office…” investigator Robert Stetler wrote in his 2011 request for a search warrant.
Well, that’s not at all what Walker himself told the public.
To be sure, the GOP candidate was never indicted, and both this criminal investigation and the probe of his campaign-finance scandal are officially over. The new revelations do not change the underlying detail that his campaign aides will likely emphasize: Walker wasn’t charged with a crime.
But in advance of his recall campaign and his re-election campaign, Walker told Wisconsin voters that he was never a target of the criminal investigation. The contradiction between what Walker said and what is true will require some explanation.