Gov. Scott Walker announced Friday that he has set up a legal defense fund to help pay expenses incurred as a result of the John Doe investigation of activities during his time as county executive.
Walker’s campaign released a statement from the first-term Republican saying he would use the defense fund to pay his two criminal defense lawyers “to review documents and assist me in cooperating” with the secret probe.
While Walker’s campaign has tried to spin the formation of a legal defense fund as noting more than a means of paying lawyers to review documents and assist Walker in cooperating with Milwaukee County’s ongoing John Doe investigation, Wisconsin State Statutes don’t allow the creation of a legal defense fund unless, “a state government official who is being investigated for or charged with a violation of campaign finance laws or prohibited election practices.”
So in other words, while Gov. Walker and his campaign want to spin the formation of a legal defense fund as no big deal, it’s a very big deal. Never before in the history of our state has a sitting governor needed to form a legal defense fund to pay for attorneys while former aides and associates find themselves indicted for felony criminal charges.