When People In Politics Forget The Rules

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the antics practiced in Wisconsin in recent years by those attempting to remove and tarnish Governor Walker. The (so-called) legal basis for the attacks was the John Doe law.  In a 2015 article, I told the story of the John Doe Law being used as the basis for a swat-team-like invasion of a home where a teenager was home alone. The pretext for the invasion was coordination between conservative groups and Scott Walker’s campaign for governor. Please follow the link to the article to read the entire story–it is chilling.

Scott Johnson reports:

On Wednesday, a Wisconsin judge unsealed an 88-page report on the state Department of Justice’s (WIDoJ) investigation into a leak of sealed evidence from the politically motivated “John Doe” investigation of Gov. Scott Walker, his supporters, and various conservative groups related to his recall election campaign. The 88-page report is posted here.

The report lacks an executive summary. The pseudonymous Warren Henry summarizes and comments on the report for the Federalist in “Bombshell report: Political persecution of Scott Walker swept up high-level GOP officials.” Mike Kittle summarizes and comments on the report for Wisconsin’s MacIver Institute in “DOJ report: Wisconsin’s infamous John Doe was more sinister than first reported.”

The events reported in this report do not belong in a representative republic. Unfortunately, I suspect some of these intimidation tactics are being currently used to block the agenda of President Trump. They were not successful when they were used against Governor Walker, and hopefully they will not be successful when used against President Trump.

The article concludes:

The wrongdoing now detailed in the WIDoJ report is of the deeply fascist variety that exceeds my poor powers of denunciation. Suffice it to say that it combines the instruments of tyranny — physical torture omitted — in the service of the suppression of conservatives. The story is shocking almost beyond belief. One might ask where the outrage is, but at this point we should probably ask if anyone is paying attention.

All of the people involved in these activities belong in jail. I’m not holding my breath, but they belong in jail.

I Never Believed This Could Happen In America

Hot Air posted a story yesterday about a home invasion in Wisconsin. Unfortunately the home invasion was done by people who were supposed to protect Americans–not harass them.

The story reports:

She (Cindy Archer) got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee.

“I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

They wouldn’t let her speak to a lawyer. She looked outside and saw a person who appeared to be a reporter. Someone had tipped him off.

What had she done to cause this invasion by armed police?

The article reports:

Archer participated in the efforts to reform public-employee unions in Wisconsin with the Act 10 proposal. Others noted by French also participated in conservative politics and policy development, all of whom got raided in exactly the same manner — warned not to talk about it, warned not to get a lawyer, all while the government confiscated their papers and computers.

Wisconsin has a John Doe Law, widely used by political types to silence or intimidate political opposition. The law was originally passed as part of campaign finance reform, but unfortunately has become a political weapon.

The article further explains what has happened with the John Doe Law:

The John Doe investigations are a form of domestic lawfare, and our constitutional system is ill equipped to handle it. Federal courts rarely intervene in state judicial proceedings, state officials rarely lose their array of official immunities for the consequences of their misconduct, and violations of First Amendment freedoms rarely result in meaningful monetary damages for the victims. …

Yes, Wisconsin, the cradle of the progressive movement and home of the “Wisconsin idea” — the marriage of state governments and state universities to govern through technocratic reform — was giving birth to a new progressive idea, the use of law enforcement as a political instrument, as a weapon to attempt to undo election results, shame opponents, and ruin lives.

Most Americans have never heard of these raids, or of the lengthy criminal investigations of Wisconsin conservatives. For good reason. Bound by comprehensive secrecy orders, conservatives were left to suffer in silence as leaks ruined their reputations, as neighbors, looking through windows and dismayed at the massive police presence, the lights shining down on targets’ homes, wondered, no doubt, What on earth did that family do?

This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform.

The United States Constitution states:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The John Doe Law will shortly be reviewed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Hopefully the Courts will uphold the Constitution. If they don’t, we are in danger of losing free speech in America. As for the issue of money in politics–full disclosure of donors and amounts would do a lot to solve that problem–and it would avoid this sort of lawfare.