While this blog has devoted a good amount of space to criminal prosecutions of various pols on the take, I have long expressed the view that that kind of corruption is of relatively minor consequence compared to the "most extreme corruption." The "most extreme corruption" is the use by government officials of the powers of the government itself to advantage one side of the political divide and disadvantage the other.
In that linked post from May of this year, I suggested that the Trump/Russia collusion narrative was nothing more than a "preposterous cover story" offered up by ex-CIA chief Brennan and other Obama administration intelligence officials to justify their extreme corruption of surveilling the Trump campaign and transition for partisan advantage. Right now, that's looking like a rather good call. I'll have plenty more fun with that one as more details emerge. But for today, let's consider another instance of the same phenomenon, this one coming from the state of Wisconsin.
On December 6, 2017, the Attorney General of Wisconsin released a Report on the subject of "violations of the John Doe secrecy orders." Here is a link to the full Report. While the specific focus of the Report is criminal leaks of certain information from state government investigations that were subject to court secrecy orders, the Report also addresses the more fundamental basic corruption of large numbers of identified Wisconsin state bureaucrats. Words are not minced. For example:
DOJ [Wisconsin Department of Justice] is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponization of GAB [Wisconsin Government Accountability Board] by partisans in furtherance of political goals. . . .
Since you may not have followed the story of the Wisconsin "John Doe" investigations, here is some background. Scott Walker (a Republican) was initially elected Governor of Wisconsin in 2010, and then immediately became subject to a campaign for "recall," forcing him effectively to run again in 2012. He won that recall election (and then another full term in 2014). In 2012, shortly after the recall election, a so-called "John Doe" investigation of Walker's campaign was initiated by various Democratic DAs around Wisconsin, with the assistance of a central state bureaucracy called the Government Accountability Board, which purported to have expertise in state election law. A "John Doe" investigation in Wisconsin is an investigation under a particular state statute that requires that the investigation proceed in secrecy under the supervision of a "John Doe Judge."
The supposed subject of these particular John Doe investigations was alleged violations of campaign finance law by the Walker campaigns and certain independent groups for improperly "coordinating" their activities. During 2012 to 2014, despite the cloak of secrecy, there were frequent reports out of Wisconsin of extraordinary investigatory tactics being employed, including subpoenas numbering in the hundreds directed to every Wisconsin Republican of consequence, and numerous middle-of-the-night no-knock home invasions, supposedly to collect evidence of campaign finance law violations. In July 2015, responding to a lawsuit brought by certain (unnamed) targets of the investigations, the Wisconsin Supreme Court shut the investigations down. From a report in watchdog.org:
In a ruling issued Thursday morning, the [Wisconsin] high court ordered an end to the politically motivated investigation into conservative groups in Wisconsin that has been dragging on for more than three years. . . . “It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing,” [Supreme Court Justice Michael] Gableman wrote in the opinion. “In other words, the special prosecutor was the instigator of a ‘perfect storm’ of wrongs.”
But the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision did not end the matter. The prosecutors sought certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. Shortly before that Court was expected to rule on the request, a large trove of the supposedly secret materials collected in the investigations was leaked to the Guardian newspaper, which ran a big story in September 2016 that included a link to the complete collection of all the leaked materials. Was the leak an intentional effort by Wisconsin bureaucrats to influence the U.S. Supreme Court? (The U.S. Supreme Court denied the cert petition in October 2016, thereby ending the matter.)
And then we haven't heard from the matter for over a year, until the release of the Wisconsin AG's Report this past week. Maybe it's just me, but I would call this Report a bombshell in its revelation of extreme corruption by a group of government bureaucrats -- Democrats -- using the machinery of the government, including its most dangerous secret investigatory powers, to advantage their side and disadvantage the other side. Key quote from the Report:
After reviewing the emails exchanged between the attorneys at GAB, it is apparent that GAB attorneys had prejudged the guilt of Governor Walker, Wisconsin Republicans, and related organizations that they were investigating and this dramatically influenced their ability to give competent legal advice. GAB attorneys did not act in a detached and professional manner. The most reasonable inference is that they were on a mission to bring down the Walker campaign and the Governor himself.
There's much more, including: the leak of the information was a criminal act; it came from the intense partisans at the Wisconsin GAB; and it was timed specifically to try to influence the U.S. Supreme Court. I guess if you truly believe that the Republicans are evil, and that maintenance of power by the progressive faction is the most important thing in the world, you can justify just about anything.
I've done quite a bit of looking to see if I can find any mention of this Report in any "mainstream" news source, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, and so forth. But, even though the Report has been out for four days now, I can't seem to find any mention. Funny, isn't it?
Question: When all the facts are out, will the fundamental corruption of the federal intelligence agencies be even worse than this one?