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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

The DA's John Doe Dump

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Like so much of this John Doe, today's story seems a lot bigger than it really is. Why?

Despite the full-frontal media heavy breathing, there is actually nothing wrong with campaign staff advising the governor or county staff on how to deal with county issues. It’s only a problem if the county staff is working on the campaign. Notice that Kelly Rindfleisch was only charged with campaign activities related to lieutenant governor candidate Brett Davis.... not Walker.

So what was yesterday all about? 

If you can't  get a conviction in court, use your tools in the media to convict him in the court of public opinion. And count on the media to use words like 'implicated," when no one is implicated in anything.

Lots of innuendo and parsing of words that made it sound like laws were broken, when there was legally nothing there.

This is the  DA's way to dump on witnesses who gave so-called "secret" testimony that he can’t indict because they broke no laws. He is using their secret testimony to make a case that does not exist.; and revealing it in such a way that they cannot defend themselves in open court and that he does not have to prove in open court.

He can’t release the John Doe testimony unless it is in an official court document or proceeding, so he used the Rindfleisch sentencing to do the document dump.

A bizarre footnote: DA Bruce Landgraf apparently falsely accused campaign aide R.J. Johnson of being part of the campaign meetings and only corrected himself when he was asked about it by a reporter for Wispolitics.

In court, Landgraf said Walker adviser R.J. Johnson was also part of the group. But he said later in a short interview that Johnson was not.

Was this an attempt to mislead the court? Or was Landrgraf just sloppy? And what does that say about the non-case he was presenting to the judge?


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