Just days after Scott Walker officially kicked off his presidential bid, the Wisconsin Supreme Court was set to announce Thursday whether investigators can resume a wide-ranging and secret probe into alleged election law violations during the Republican governor’s 2012 recall campaign. At issue is whether Walker’s campaign and several conservative groups illegally coordinated their activities during the recall, which was spurred by Democratic anger over Walker’s successful drive to effectively end collective bargaining for most public workers. Walker and the groups have denied any wrongdoing and called the probe a violation of their free-speech rights.
No one has been charged in the current so-called John Doe probe, Wisconsin’s version of a grand jury investigation in which information is tightly controlled. A previous John Doe investigation resulted in the conviction of six Walker staffers and campaign workers.
Questions about the investigation have dogged Walker for months.
The probe is on hold pending the high court’s decision on whether it should be allowed to continue. Unnamed petitioners have filed two lawsuits seeking to block it, while prosecutors have their own action seeking to reinstate quashed subpoenas.