Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice: Walker Likely Pleading the Fifth to Avoid Self-Incrimination

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In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's political chat, ace reporter Dan Bice, suggested that the reason Governor Walker is refusing to answer whether or not he knew about the illegal router system is because the illegal router system was illegal and admiting knowledge of it would incrimite the Governor:

  • Q: Luke, Green Bay, WI. - A simple yes or no question "Did you Governor Walker know of the secret e-mail system?" Why won't he just answer the question? We are paying his salary. It is a simple yes-no question.
  • A: Daniel Bice - Why won't he answer the question? My guess: He is paying his lawyers very good money, and they have told him, "Do not answer that question."

In other words, the criminal defense lawyers that advise their clients only on criminal defense have advised him to not answer that question because it would incriminate himself.  While this is obvious to most experts that have looked into the John Doe scandal, it is the first time that a member of the Wisconsin press corps has connected these two dots in a public way.

The biggest problem with the press coverage thus far is that it fails to inform the public of why Walker's obvious knowledge of the secret (and illegal) router system is important:  It was a tool whose sole purpose was to allow county government workers to evade detection of their illegal campaign work on the taxpayer's dime.  

Whether he admits to it or not, Walker clearly had knowledge of the illegal router system, which involved using private emails and private laptops on a secret router in the Milwaukee County Executive's office for campaign work.  Prosecutors believed that Walker constantly using the router system to communicate with government workers about campaign activities during work hours is clear evidence that he knew about the system.  

In addition, the biggest smoking gun is that when county worker Darlene Wink got busted by the Journal-Sentinel for doing campaign work while at her goverment job, Walker sent an email to Tim Russell, saying "no more laptops" and no more campaign work during office hours. This was significant because Russell was not working in Walker's County Executive office at the time. In fact, he wasn't even working in the same building. The only reason Walker would have to send Russell such an email is because he knew that Russell set up the illegal router system and Russell was clearly point man for doing campaign work on the government's dime.     

 

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