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Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirms John Doe is dead

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Part 295 of 354 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War

MADISON, Wis. — The state Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear the politically driven John Doe investigation into conservatives is dead and that the probe’s special prosecutor has no power to pursue anything involving it.

In short, the court told Francis Schmitz to get lost.

The long-awaited ruling clarifies the Supreme Court’s decision in July declaring the so-called “John Doe II” unconstitutional and ordering the probe shut down.

Schmitz quickly filed a motion with the court to reconsider its ruling asking it to stay an order requiring the prosecutors return all of the illegally seized property to the probe’s targets and destroy all copies of the ill-gotten “evidence.”

Watchdog file photo

JOHN DOE IS STILL DEAD: The state Supreme Court on Wednesday reasserted its ruling in July declaring Wisconsin’s political John Doe unconstitutional from its inception. It also ordered the probe’s special prosecutor to stand down.

In its July ruling, the court sided with an appeals court decision that effectively saw no legal issue with Schmitz’s original appointment as special prosecutor of the five-county investigation. But the conservative majority signed on to an opinion by Justice David Prosser that challenged the validity of the appointment.

“…(W)e now issue a legal ruling and order that, because of the invalidity of his appointment, Attorney Schmitz must cease taking any actions as the John Doe II special prosecutor as of the date of this opinion and order, except for the actions this court directs below to conclude the John Doe II investigation,” Wednesday’s ruling states.

The decision was issued unanimously by the four conservative members of the court, including Chief Justice Patience Roggensack. Left-leaning Justice Shirley Abrahamson offered a dissenting opinion, and liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley recused herself because of a self-determined conflict.

“This decision reaffirms that the secret investigation was unconstitutional from its inception; in fact it reaffirms that even the structure of the investigation, including the idea of using Francis Schmitz as a cover was improper from its inception,” said Eddie Greim, an attorney for the unnamed petitioners who originally challenged the legality of the investigation.

RELATED: John Doe victims still in legal limbo

Schmitz may no longer involve himself in the legal defense of a dead John Doe investigation.

The special prosecutor has said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court should the state court reject his motion, but he is not allowed to do that under Wednesday’s ruling. The five district attorneys, including Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, the Democrat who launched the investigation in August 2012, may do so. The DAs, who have preferred working in the shadows of the secret probe, would finally have to step out from behind the screen to take legal responsibility, however.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ordered that prosecutors return all property they took from targets within 30 days of the ruling. The massive amounts of electronic records illegally seized through the ongoing spy operation must be returned within 30 days of prosecutors failure to file a petition seeking review by the U.S. Supreme Court or within 30 days of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of such a petition — an outcome that legal experts say is all but certain. The state Supreme Court would then become custodian of the property, presiding over its legal return. Schmitz would have to sign an affidavit swearing he has complied with the order.

In its ruling, the court ordered that notice must be provided “to all individuals and organizations whose documents or electronic data were obtained by the prosecution team in the course of the John Doe II investigation or were obtained in the course of the John Doe I investigation and were authorized to be used in the John Doe II investigation.” The order also applies to “all persons who worked for or were associated with (Schmitz) and the prosecution team.”

“John Doe I” refers to the secret investigation into Walker’s former aides and associates when Gov. Scott Walker was Milwaukee County executive and as he was running for governor. That investigation, which included highly questionable warrants that legal experts have criticized as an assault on the Fourth Amendment, ended with the conviction of six individuals. But only two of those convictions had anything to do with the original scope of the probe.

In his motion, Schmitz argued the Supreme Court majority opinion was legally wrong, that he was granted the authority to serve as special prosecutor by the original John Doe judge and that he wanted to preserve the evidence to protect the prosecutors’ lingering theories the conservative groups engaged in illegal coordination with Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.

The prosecutors’ original theory was rejected by another John Doe judge, who ruled investigators did not show probable cause of any wrongdoing by the targeted 29 conservative groups and Walker’s campaign.

“We conclude that Attorney Schmitz’s motion does not present any grounds to reconsider our prior decision,” the decision states.

The court also referred to changes in Wisconsin’s John Doe law that remove such political investigations from the secret procedures and set particular standards for appointing special prosecutors. A John Doe procedure is similar to a grand jury investigation. Unlike a grand jury, however, John Doe investigations are presided over by a single judge with expanded power to compel witnesses to testify in the investigation of criminal allegations.

Schmitz did not return an email request for comment, nor did two of the lead Milwaukee County prosecutors in the probe.

A press release issued Monday by Graves Garrett, the Kansas City, Mo., law firm representing the unnamed petitioners, noted that public filings show Schmitz had little control over the multi-county John Doe, that Chisholm’s office along with the state Government Accountability Board remained in control.

Court records indicate the GAB, which had filed its own so-called “friend of the court” briefs in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, paid Schmitz, the prosecution team’s “nominal leader,” and funded and operated the investigation alongside Chisholm, according to the press release.

“GAB Board members and staff responded to criticism by publicly attacking the John Doe targets and even the Court,” the law firm said. Long-time conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, targets of the probe, have filed a lawsuit in state court accusing the GAB of overstepping its authority at taxpayers expense.

Greim, an attorney with Graves Garrett which is representing O’Keefe in the state lawsuit, said the Supreme Court ruling should help the plaintiffs’ cause in that case and that it brings resolution to a matter that many believe was settled in July.

“The entire decision is something to tie up loose ends and ensure that the July decision is not circumvented by the procedural ingenuity that brought us John Doe II in first place,” the attorney said.

Graves Garrett’s press release asserts prosecutors doubled down after the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s July ruling, “threatening to use the seized materials for additional investigations against their targets. They also secretly approached another judge for permission to disclose carefully selected documents to the public as a means to punish their targets.”

“The Supreme Court today reaffirms its ruling that District Attorney John Chisholm’s secret investigation was unconstitutional from its inception,” said Todd Graves, of Graves Garrett. “It also reveals that even after being told in July that their conduct was unacceptable, the prosecution team was not chastened. Instead, Chisholm and the GAB continued to attack the John Doe targets and cover up their own misdeeds.”

Part of 354 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War
  1. So what are the odds the Wisconsin Supreme Court will stay its John Doe ruling?
  2. Sources: Secret probe targeting conservatives is abuse of prosecutorial powers
  3. Scary! Phantom prosecutor in Dems’ war on conservatives disappears inside courthouse
  4. EXCLUSIVE: Judge in Democrat-led John Doe probe recuses herself
  5. Democrats’ ‘intelligence-gathering’ spreads in Wisconsin
  6. Democrats tap anti-terror expert to head secret probe of Wisconsin conservatives
  7. Sheriff Clarke: John Doe case shows Milwaukee DA is ‘weaponized for political purposes’
  8. Clarke: John Doe into conservatives ‘unbridled,’ ‘dangerous’ and ‘tainted’
  9. Sources: New judge named in Democrat-led secret probe
  10. Vendetta justice? Criticism growing about John Doe prosecutor Bruce Landgraf
  11. Will Wisconsin’s own ‘Miserable’ inspector jail conservative activist for speaking out about Dem probe?
  12. Conservative targets bring in big guns to Democrat-led John Doe fight
  13. ‘Dangerous’ game: Former FEC official blasts Democrats’ secret investigation of conservative groups
  14. Center for Media and Democracy: Liberals are morally superior
  15. Wisconsin Dems suddenly support political investigations
  16. WI Republican attorney general to represent judges in Democrat-led John Doe probe
  17. Republicans speak out about silent John Doe targeting conservatives
  18. Biggest secret in John Doe may be just how judges and special prosecutors are selected
  19. WSJ: John Doe judge deals body blow to secret probe targeting conservatives
  20. Vos: Wait until John Doe in ‘rearview mirror’ before revisiting law
  21. Lawsuits looming in Wisconsin’s crumbling John Doe probe?
  22. Conservative to Democrat prosecutors: Shut down secret political probe or face civil rights lawsuit
  23. John Doe target O’Keefe taking on IRS, too
  24. Lawmaker: Wisconsin’s John Doe like Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’
  25. Target files civil rights lawsuit against Wisconsin’s John Doe prosecutors
  26. Disparate treatment: Civil rights lawsuit claims conservative speech trampled
  27. Liberal group looking to take Wisconsin’s John Doe national
  28. John Doe judge: ‘Results of the John Doe speak for themselves’
  29. John Doe special prosecutor appeals judge’s ruling quashing subpoenas
  30. John Doe prosecutor pushed for brain-damaged man’s conviction in ATF debacle
  31. Conservatives counterpunch John Doe prosecutors’ move to stall injunction
  32. Shadowy John Doe investigator invokes federalism in civil rights lawsuit
  33. John Doe prosecutors wanted higher-priced lawyers, source says
  34. Secret agent Dean Nickel’s defense: ‘Dean Nickel is not responsible’
  35. D’oh! John Doe prosecutors claim secrecy protection – after filing secret documents
  36. Recusal in John Doe case raises questions of fairness, purpose
  37. Absolute immunity makes it tough to prosecute the prosecutors of John Doe
  38. Poll suggests Dems’ big ‘secret’ weapon against Walker is backfiring
  39. ‘Easy target’: Kelly Rindfleisch breaks silence about John Doe probe
  40. SCOTUS ruling on campaign finance shows abuse of John Doe, targets say
  41. Nobody will say what John Doe’s shadow man did, but taxpayers are paying his legal bill
  42. Judge denies John Doe prosecutors’ move to dismiss civil rights suit
  43. Civil rights expert: John Doe law is ‘un-American,’ like something from ‘Nazi Germany’
  44. Target: John Doe prosecutors making up campaign law as they go along
  45. John Doe, as it is being used, must go, WI senator says
  46. John Doe target says prosecutors latest move another delay tactic
  47. John Doe prosecutors sound defensive in latest court filings
  48. Federal judge denies John Doe prosecutors’ motion to stall civil rights case
  49. Media coalition asks judge to open sealed John Doe documents
  50. Are John Doe prosecutors sweating out federal judge’s decision?
  51. John Doe is dead: Judge stops WI prosecutors’ probe into conservatives
  52. This is what the Fourth Amendment looks like?
  53. What’s next for now-defunct John Doe probe?
  54. Appeals court stalls judge’s order halting John Doe probe
  55. Federal judge’s ruling could open up sealed John Doe records
  56. Federal judge orders John Doe probe shut down again
  57. Lawmakers call for review of GAB’s secret John Doe activities, funds
  58. Lawyers, lawyers everywhere and other dispatches from John Doe Land
  59. Secret’s out: The world is beginning to learn more about WI’s John Doe
  60. Still their little secret? Questions remain on John Doe gag order
  61. Appeals Court declares portions of Wisconsin campaign finance law unconstitutional
  62. John Doe prosecutors suddenly support opening sealed court records
  63. Expert: It’s as if GAB decided ‘Citizens United didn’t exist’
  64. John Doe prosecutors voice phony outrage, legal source says
  65. GAB still reviewing court ruling declaring WI campaign finance law unconstitutional
  66. State Farm still doesn’t want to cover John Doe prosecutor’s legal bills
  67. For the Walker-hating left, John Doe is ‘Mission Accomplished’
  68. Sources: No urgency in WI Supreme Court on John Doe
  69. Would Walker settlement with John Doe prosecutors be a deal with the devil?
  70. Contempt questions surround reported John Doe deal talks
  71. Walker’s John Doe response raises more questions than answers
  72. Sources: Attorney General passes on defending GAB in John Doe cases
  73. Attorney to judge: Don’t let John Doe prosecutor ‘moot’ injunction
  74. John Doe targets sue Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board
  75. Federal judge says his order halting John Doe probe should be clear to prosecutor
  76. John Doe special prosecutor’s bill still shrouded in secrecy
  77. ‘Are these kind of armed pre-dawn raids standard operating procedure?’
  78. John Doe special prosecutor obeys judge’s order
  79. ‘Never-ending’ John Doe never ended, WSJ reports
  80. Appeals court upholds judge’s order shutting down John Doe probe
  81. O’Keefe keeps collecting big wins in John Doe lawsuit
  82. John Doe I judge says he’s not responsible for John Doe II
  83. Will taxpayers have to pay for frivolity of John Doe prosecutors?
  84. John Doe prosecutors jump back into the dark?
  85. What about those prosecutors? Questions surround other John Doe DAs
  86. Humiliated in court, WI Dems take their anti-conservative John Doe probe to the media
  87. Federal judge blasts John Doe prosecutors – again – as he denies records release
  88. Right on cue: Document dump fuels anti-Walker donation drive
  89. Wall Street Journal points out ‘disgrace’ of mainstream John Doe reporting
  90. Expert: John Doe raids raise ‘troubling’ Fourth Amendment questions
  91. Kelly Rindfleisch tells conservatives, ‘Don’t back down’
  92. Mainstream media forced to walk back Walker ‘criminal scheme’ narrative
  93. John Doe prosecutors engaged in premature justification, conservatives say
  94. Is John Doe probe a case of a mini NSA in Wisconsin?
  95. AG opinion means accountability board’s John Doe secrets are safe — for now
  96. Senator asks attorney general to compel GAB to open up its books
  97. GAB now playing secrets in state John Doe lawsuit
  98. Will John Doe prosecutors launch lengthy probe against Trek Bicycle?
  99. John Doe prosecutors engaged in war of words — lots and lots of words
  100. Judge denies conservatives’ request to add GAB to civil rights lawsuit
  101. Oral arguments set in John Doe prosecutors’ appeal
  102. In John Doe Land, the left doesn’t illegally coordinate
  103. John Doe document blitz must have broken mainstream media’s heart
  104. Senator: Looks like accountability board is hiding something
  105. Kelly Rindfleisch appeal to test validity of John Doe digital searches
  106. Conservatives in John Doe battle know disclosure comes with a heavy price
  107. Appeals court orders release of some John Doe documents
  108. Taxpayers on the hook up to $25,000 for GAB’s legal maneuvers
  109. Overheated media erroneously bring back Walker ‘criminal scheme’ theme
  110. ‘Retaliation’: Docs show state prosecutors launched mini-NSA probe of WI conservatives
  111. John Doe prosecutors take desperate, unethical slap
  112. Walker ‘smoking gun’ story has tiny glaring flaw
  113. Wisconsin prosecutors aim to shut down conservatives
  114. Conservatives appeal to common sense in John Doe appeals case
  115. Conservatives say ‘incorrect disclosure’ of John Doe docs no ‘tiny error’
  116. First Amendment big guns back targets of John Doe probe
  117. Was John Doe judge a rubber stamp?
  118. $25,000 and counting: WI taxpayers’ bill so far to defend GAB and its ‘monster’
  119. Another blow for Wisconsin’s restrictive campaign finance law
  120. Wisconsin prosecutors appeal for protection from blowback in partisan probe
  121. Is John Doe story colored with a bit of ‘Macbeth?’
  122. GAB director says agency just following the law in John Doe probe
  123. Kelly Rindfleisch: Where are the tears for the kids the Milwaukee school system failed?
  124. Rindfleisch attorney: Appeals court can protect the Fourth Amendment in Digital Age
  125. Source: Wisconsin Supreme Court doesn’t want political heat of John Doe case
  126. Appeals court reverses John Doe injunction, but Wisconsin’s secret war far from over
  127. A whistleblower’s story: Taking on a ‘hyper-partisan’ district attorney
  128. Conservative O’Keefe seeks investigation into John Chisholm and his John Doe
  129. Who’s paying the bill? Report casts questions on GAB and John Doe payments
  130. Target of secret John Doe probe is fighting back and speaking out
  131. The day John Doe rushed through the door
  132. Rindfleisch: ‘Rape’ not too strong a word for how violated John Doe targets feel
  133. Conservative group asks court to stop John Doe ‘constitutional injury’
  134. Conservatives to appeals court: ‘You don’t know Doe’
  135. Armed and growing: Milwaukee County DA beefs up his ‘police force’
  136. Federal judge stops John Doe prosecutors from bothering conservative group
  137. Wisconsin Supreme Court takes another pass on John Doe case
  138. No surprise: Bice buries the lead, Walker follows the law
  139. Federalism v. individual rights: A conversation with Eric O’Keefe
  140. Report: No district attorney will investigate District Attorney John Chisholm
  141. Appeals court denies request to rehear John Doe civil rights case
  142. Voters say ‘yes’ to Walker, ‘no’ to John Doe, law expert says
  143. Vos: There will be reforms to John Doe, GAB
  144. GAB, Milwaukee County DA bail on key provision behind war on conservatives
  145. John Doe lawsuit could be headed to U.S. Supreme Court
  146. Kelly Rindfleisch will fight on in Fourth Amendment case
  147. John Doe froze conservative speech, targets say
  148. Conservatives to court: Open up records on GAB’s role in John Doe
  149. Did the GAB doctor documents to cover their tracks in John Doe?
  150. Wisconsin’s Van Hollen says goodbye to AG post, John Doe
  151. Rindfleisch appeals to Supreme Court in John Doe Fourth Amendment abuse case
  152. Audit: GAB has failed to follow the law
  153. Wisconsin Supreme Court to take up John Doe complaints
  154. ‘R word’ surfaces in wake of state Supreme Court taking up John Doe challenges
  155. GAB won’t say whether it has reauthorized its role in John Doe probe
  156. Rogue agency defied judges to carry out partisan probe of Wisconsin conservatives
  157. ‘Outside the … law’: Lawmakers call for investigation of GAB
  158. Attorney: GAB’s John Doe justifications don’t hold up to law
  159. Isn’t it ironic: Mainstream silence follows reports of secret GAB Gmail in John Doe
  160. GAB offers contradictory defense of its John Doe activities
  161. O’Keefe officially asks judge to open probe into John ‘Doe’ Chisholm
  162. State lawmakers look to investigate the GAB and its investigators
  163. One year ago, judge’s ruling shakes up John Doe probe
  164. Doe possessed: ‘They have information about every aspect of our lives’
  165. GAB plays victim card in ‘complicated’ John Doe, campaign finance farce
  166. Public defender asks Supreme Court to take up John Doe-related Fourth Amendment case
  167. GAB has a sudden change of heart on campaign finance reform
  168. O’Keefe takes his case against John Doe to U.S. Supreme Court
  169. Conservatives: GAB’s meeting minutes show gap in board’s John Doe oversight
  170. How Wisconsin media support DA’s war on conservatives
  171. Federal judge’s judgment takes John Doe probe off life support
  172. Following judge’s order killing John Doe, what’s next?
  173. First Amendment expert: Wisconsin ought to be ’embarrassed’ by John Doe
  174. Does chief justice have conflict of interest in John Doe case?
  175. Conservative groups ask U.S. Supreme Court to defend rights of John Doe targets
  176. Is John Doe special prosecutor still working with partisan DA, GAB?
  177. Prosecutor misstatements continue to shape John Doe narrative, Walker’s future
  178. $775,000 and rising — Wisconsin taxpayers’ bill to defend John Doe prosecutors
  179. Milwaukee DA to be ‘special guest’ at fundraiser for Supreme Court justice
  180. John Doe reform bill aims to break silence of abusive investigations
  181. Reform bill would open up the John Doe books to taxpayers
  182. John Doe target says they are the victim of identity theft
  183. On Sunshine Week, GAB still operating in the dark
  184. Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects Rindfleisch Fourth Amendment appeal
  185. Secretive John Doe special prosecutor who fancies a good leak screams secrecy breach
  186. Kelly Rindfleisch hopes to avoid becoming first John Doe political prisoner
  187. GAB, friend of the John Doe, just wants to be a ‘friend of the court’
  188. Kelly Rindfleisch, Chisholm’s political prize, to begin sentence on Thursday
  189. U.S. Supreme Court could soon decide whether to take John Doe Case
  190. Did chief justice show her hand in dissenting John Doe opinion?
  191. New documents expose GAB’s ‘parallel’ probe expenditures
  192. Lawmaker: Chief justice’s civil rights complaint is ‘pathetic’
  193. John Doe reform bill stalls in Legislature
  194. Who was the reporter outside Cindy Archer’s house?
  195. U.S. Supreme Court to consider hearing John Doe-related case
  196. Experts: Chances rise that U.S. Supreme Court will take John Doe case
  197. Do Chisholm’s public comments on John Doe cross ethical line?
  198. John Chisholm’s 50 shades of ‘raid’
  199. Five years later: America just learning ‘tyrannical’ secrets of Wisconsin’s John Doe
  200. U.S. Supreme Court could announce decision on John Doe case later this month
  201. Wisconsin as a New Yorker cartoon of itself
  202. Will discovery reveal more bombshell information about ‘rogue’ GAB?
  203. Political prisoner Kelly Rindfleisch on home confinement, working for O’Keefe
  204. Warrants command John Doe targets to remain silent
  205. U.S. Supreme Court denies review of John Doe-related case
  206. Was John Chisholm John Doe distracted?
  207. John Doe reform bill stuck in legislative waiting game
  208. GAB reform stalled, new docs show GAB working closely with John Doe prosecutors
  209. Kelly Rindfleisch takes her Fourth Amendment fight to the U.S. Supreme Court
  210. What happened to Kelly Rindfleisch could happen to you
  211. Justice asks state Supreme Court to reconsider Rindfleisch Fourth Amendment appeal
  212. Justice Gableman: Warrants in Rindfleisch case amount to ‘fishing expedition’
  213. ‘Did they get me?’: Docs reveal long-time John Doe spying operation
  214. Kelly Rindfleisch: ‘I fear I will never get justice’
  215. Former Walker aide to file civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutor
  216. Cindy Archer: Chisholm’s John Doe was ‘campaign of intimidation’
  217. National Review: Political John Doe victimized 16-year-old boy
  218. GAB’s Kennedy had a friend in IRS’ Lois Lerner
  219. Vos: Time to ‘double down’ on GAB reform in wake of reported IRS links
  220. Left’s loud transparency defenders silent on secret John Doe
  221. The John Doe investigation might finally be over; Supreme Court to rule Thursday
  222. Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts down John Doe investigation
  223. Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts down John Doe investigation, affirms First Amendment
  224. Kelly Rindfleisch seeks release following death of John Doe probe
  225. Legal experts on right and left seek review of Rindfleisch John Doe conviction
  226. John Doe horror stories: ‘I felt completely helpless in my own home’
  227. Hillary Clinton plays victim card
  228. Legal expert: Abrahamson and John Doe civil rights cases like day and night
  229. Attorney: audio confirms traumatic John Doe raid of Cindy Archer’s home
  230. John Doe prosecutors open new assault on conservative targets
  231. John Doe prosecutors’ tape of raid raises questions about missing moments
  232. John Doe reform bill starts to move again
  233. Conservatives ask Abrahamson to turn over John Doe-related records
  234. John Doe investigators say there are more tapes of raids
  235. Legal defense of rogue John Doe agents costs taxpayers nearly $1.2 million
  236. Explosive email exposes GAB attorney’s partisan motives in John Doe probe
  237. An open letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Patrick Marley
  238. Wisconsin GAB reform bill could be ready in a few weeks, sources say
  239. Updated complaint shines more light on dark day in John Doe
  240. Partisan Falk once urged GAB to ‘get around constitutional right to free speech’
  241. Legislature to take up John Doe reform in October, GOP leadership says
  242. Knudson on GAB: ‘We need to take this thing apart’
  243. Did the GAB ‘illegally coordinate’ with left-leaning groups?
  244. John Doe prosecutors get a win, practice legal gymnastics again
  245. Wall Street Journal: GAB targeted conservative justices in John Doe defense
  246. Craig says bill to investigate GAB’s John Doe activities coming soon
  247. New emails show GAB assisting in John Doe defense after judge said stop
  248. ‘Nonpartisan’ GAB staff has partisan past
  249. John Doe political prisoner Kelly Rindfleisch nears end of her sentence
  250. Will the voices of the John Doe victims be heard?
  251. Supreme Court will not hear Kelly Rindfleisch’s Fourth Amendment case
  252. Judge orders GAB to turn over emails with liberal groups
  253. The silence of the left is the Dems’ transparency hypocrisy
  254. GAB chairman: ‘I wasn’t offended’ by John Doe raids
  255. Sources: Bill would overhaul controversial GAB
  256. GAB fighting to keep its secrets out of public eye
  257. GAB overhaul would eliminate blank checks on taxypayer dime
  258. John Doe victims to tell their stories in Fox News special
  259. Fiery GAB hearing invokes ghost of Joe McCarthy
  260. Why did accountability board use Gmail accounts to talk John Doe?
  261. Prosecutor plugged into ‘hotspot’ to email sensitive John Doe docs
  262. Judge holds off on release of GAB’s ‘very embarrassing’ records
  263. Craig blasts newspaper for Dem ‘press release’ coverage of John Doe bill
  264. Hyperbole happens as John Doe reform passes on party-line vote
  265. Fireworks coming on GAB and campaign finance reform debate
  266. GAB living on borrowed time?
  267. Back to the Future: Dems walk out on vote again
  268. Newly released John Doe docs reveal much more about rogue GAB
  269. Lawmakers want answers on GAB director Kevin Kennedy’s IRS conversations
  270. WSJ: Wisconsin’s political John Doe targeted national conservatives
  271. Target of political John Doe targets reluctant senators in robocall campaign
  272. Kevin Kennedy’s spin to save the GAB and his job contradicts the record
  273. EXCLUSIVE: Wisconsin Senate majority leader, others also targeted in John Doe
  274. GAB’s defense of John Doe database raises more question than answers
  275. Spokeswoman: Fitzgerald not ruling out extraordinary session on GAB bill
  276. GAB kept pushing political probe despite daunting evidence problems
  277. Memo to Legislature: Take a closer look at GAB Judge’s conduct
  278. Senate passes GAB overhaul, campaign finance reform in ‘extraordinary’ session
  279. Conservatives to court on GAB’s secrets: ‘Enough is enough’
  280. Milwaukee citizens petition Walker to remove DA John Chisholm from office
  281. Rogue GAB pushing strained legal arguments to keep its secrets
  282. GAB just about dead as final overhaul bill passes Assembly
  283. Speech cop, prosecutors argue for secrecy in the face of GAB extinction
  284. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel mentions petition to remove Milwaukee DA — finally
  285. Taxpayers on hook for at least $187,000 to defend rogue GAB
  286. Court filing shows GAB’s Kennedy asking Lois Lerner if IRS ‘would be interested’
  287. Lawmaker asking GAB to open its John Doe records
  288. Did GAB’s Kevin Kennedy break the law in John Doe talks with Lois Lerner?
  289. John Doe victims still in legal limbo four months after Supreme Court ruling
  290. John Doe political prisoner Kelly Rindfleisch completes probation
  291. Lawmaker advises GAB’s Kevin Kennedy to ‘obey the law’
  292. Walker yet to sign GAB overhaul bill
  293. Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on motion to reconsider John Doe ruling
  294. Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirms John Doe is dead
  295. John Doe prosecutor gets no respect from targets he intimidated for years
  296. Former John Doe special prosecutor has little chance before high court
  297. Political speech ‘watchdogs’ urge continuation of illegal John Doe
  298. Attorney General: End John Doe case now
  299. Attorney General: John Chisholm broke campaign finance law
  300. Milwaukee County Board signals support to fight for illegal John Doe
  301. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s selective outrage on transparency
  302. District attorneys want out of political John Doe business
  303. Did DA who launched political John Doe probe break campaign finance laws?
  304. With Walker’s signature, the GAB is dead
  305. Conservatives, transparency win! GAB settles lawsuit, agrees to open up its secrets
  306. O’Keefe to Chisholm: Go ahead, make my day
  307. Bill creates legislative committee to investigate John Doe investigations
  308. Chisholm quietly returns illegal campaign contribution
  309. John Doe target: ‘Where and when does this abuse end?’
  310. ‘Good government’ group that celebrated Lois Lerner mourns for GAB
  311. Falk blasts incompetence of GAB, prosecutors in John Doe, emails show
  312. Defense attorney: Liberal John Doe cheerleaders beware
  313. Bad Santa: John Doe prosecutor delivers letters to the people he spied on
  314. Craig asks attorney general to compel GAB to open up John Doe records
  315. Former John Doe prosecutor not in compliance with court order
  316. What’s it like to find out the government has been spying on you?
  317. John Doe prosecutors ‘just playing games,’ says Cindy Archer’s attorney
  318. Supreme Court says no to John Doe prosecutors; Abrahamson lashes out
  319. Mainstream media displays selective principles on open records
  320. John Doe targets tell Supreme Court that prosecutor is not complying with order
  321. Schimel says decision coming soon on open records complaint against GAB
  322. Walker’s office won’t open hearing into Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm
  323. Petitioner against John Chisholm: Walker’s office dropped the ball
  324. Chisholm’s use of big guns in John Doe fight raises legal questions
  325. Lawmaker takes one more try at records request with reluctant GAB
  326. Schimel says John Doe prosecutors have no right to illegally obtained ‘evidence’
  327. GAB’s John Doe secrets could soon be released to the public
  328. John Doe targets: Chisholm has no right to share illegally seized ‘evidence’
  329. Conservatives: Attorney General alone has authority over John Doe petition
  330. AG Brad Schimel on John Doe authority question: It’s complicated
  331. Court denies DAs’ motion to open up John Doe records to private attorneys
  332. Chisholm’s unaccountable defense: ‘The records do not exist’
  333. Unsealed John Doe documents show view from Chisholm’s world
  334. Did John Doe cost Larry Nelson an election?
  335. Schimel: John Doe investigators living in ‘Alice in Wonderland world’
  336. First John Doe documents released from lawsuit show GAB’s partisan motives
  337. Vos names commissioners, end of GAB inches closer
  338. Will Senate take up Assembly amendment watering down John Doe reforms?
  339. Important court days coming soon to John Doe Land
  340. John Doe freedom fighter wins big victory against the IRS
  341. Oral arguments set in John Doe civil rights lawsuit
  342. Attorney to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter: ‘Your article is ridiculous’
  343. Judge Lynn Adelman on John Doe records custody: ‘I don’t care about the law’
  344. Documents raise questions about John Doe judge’s review of warrant
  345. Bruce Murphy: When journalists (don’t) attack
  346. New docs show GAB spent more than 2,500 hours on John Doe probe
  347. Chisholm invokes his illegal John Doe probe in re-election campaign
  348. Haas’ emails in GAB’s John Doe probe should give senators pause
  349. Liberal judge dismisses civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors
  350. John Doe victims stuck with GAB retread until at least January
  351. Mark Gundrum, architect of John Doe-driving GAB, could be next Supreme Court justice
  352. Before lamenting the end of the GAB, read this
  353. A year after Supreme Court pronounces John Doe dead, conservatives still waiting for justice
  354. Fitzgerald: GAB’s Michael Haas not long for new administrator role

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M.D. Kittle is national First Amendment reporter at Watchdog.org. Contact him at [email protected]