By Joel McNally
Image courtesy of Shepherd Express
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign moves ever closer to the president and his family, shrill Republican attacks on Mueller’s prosecutors as jackbooted thugs conducting “a political witch hunt” maligning Trump have escalated. In other words, Republicans are employing exactly the same tactics they used in Wisconsin to shut down legitimate investigations by law enforcement into government corruption at the highest levels.
It may not take a “Saturday Night Massacre” by Trump firing Mueller and his team of prosecutors as they close in. Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans ended a long-running criminal investigation into a suspected massive money laundering scheme by simply passing a law outlawing so-called John Doe investigations by prosecutors into political corruption. Walker, who signed that outrageous law, was the focus of two criminal John Doe investigations led by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.
The first convicted six Walker staff members and political associates when he was Milwaukee County Executive of crimes ranging from money laundering to embezzlement and illegal political activity. The second (by Chisholm and three other state district attorneys) investigated Gov. Walker and Republican legislative leaders for suspected criminal activity during a 2012 recall election to launder millions of dollars through independent political organizations to cover up bribery of public officials by political donors. A four-member Republican majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended that investigation in 2015 with a brazenly political ruling that such activity wasn’t illegal in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin showed Donald Trump how to corrupt justice. The only question now is whether Republicans in Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court with a new Trump-appointed justice will be as complicit as Wisconsin’s Republican legislature and Supreme Court in allowing Trump to get away with totally destroying legal investigations into political corruption.