The Corner

Wisconsin’s Shame: The Closer You Look, the Worse it Gets

Another Wisconsin conservative family has broken their silence, telling the story of their own encounter with the brutal, secret, and expansive “John Doe” investigations. Their son was home alone when the police launched a pre-dawn raid, guns drawn, and then turned his home “upside down” — all because his father, a political consultant, was active in the Wisconsin conservative movement. Yet these raids — as dramatic and terrifying as they were — are but one part of the story of the John Does. 

Last week, Cindy Archer — one of the John Doe raid targets — filed a lawsuit against Wisconsin D.A. John Chisholm, alleging multiple civil rights violations. Her complaint not only tells the story of her own raid (the same story she told National Review), it also tells what happened afterwards, as she was interrogated by partisan prosecutors:

[Prosecutors] interrogated Archer in at least seven secret sessions. Most took place at a nondescript office building away from the Milwaukee County government that was not disclosed to Archer in advance (she was driven there by her attorney) . . .

During these interrogations [prosecutors] would slam their fists on the table close to Archer and yell at her to intimidate her into providing incriminating testimony against Walker and his other associates. They tried to confuse her and trick her into admitting wrongdoing. Whenever [prosecutors] did not like the answer Archer gave to a question, they accused her of lying, despite having no basis for that assertion. At one point they tried to persuade her that she committed a criminal act by breaching terms of a contract (In fact, Archer did not even breach the provisions of the contract, and breach of contract is not a crime).

Read the entire complaint, and — as you do — remember that Archer was never charged with a crime. This was the price she paid for working for a conservative governor. The more facts that emerge about John Doe, the more it looks like a criminal conspiracy to deprive innocent Americans of their most basic civil rights and civil liberties. Civil lawsuits are necessary and appropriate, but it’s past time for a federal criminal investigation. If a conservative prosecutor had taken the same actions against activist liberals, would the Obama Justice Department sit on its hands?

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