The latest in the sad saga of perhaps the most ethically challenged administration in recent state history is the formation of a legal defense fund, the Scott Walker Trust, to accept funds to pay for criminal defense lawyers retained by Gov. Walker.
Gov. Walker had refused to reveal how he intended to pay for his criminal defense attorneys for nearly 40 days after announcing he had “lawyered-up”. While the creation of a legal defense fund provides the mechanism through which payments may be made, its creation raises a series of additional, troubling questions to which the people of Wisconsin deserve answers, including:
- What has changed in the investigation that Gov. Walker now needs personal representation paid for by a legal defense fund instead of his campaign paying for lawyers to “assist” the investigation? Gov. Walker claims that he has hired new criminal defense lawyers for the purpose of cooperating with the Milwaukee County District Attorney. However, for a year, the campaign itself was paying an attorney to “cooperate” with the DA by providing needed emails, etc.
- Why has Gov. Walker retained a criminal defense lawyer from Chicago who specializes in federal investigations if this is a state case run by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office?
- Is Gov. Walker a target for possible prosecution in the ongoing criminal investigation of his wrongdoing in his administration and campaign?
- Will Gov. Walker voluntarily reveal the identities of the campaign contributors who have consented to transfer their donation to the campaign to the legal defense fund as they occur? Reporting requirements and deadlines could allow him to conceal this information from the public until April 2013!
- Who will be asked to transfer their contributions from the campaign to the Governor’s legal defense fund? Do they have any business before the state?
- Why has the Governor’s campaign not released any records of the alleged contacts between his campaign and the Government Accountability Board?
- How can the Governor’s contention that his legal defense fund is operating consistent with the advice of the Government Accountability Board be independently verified if there is no documentation of what the GAB’s advice is?