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John Doe prosecutors appeal shut-down ruling again

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Prosecutors have again asked a federal appeals court to keep alive the John Doe probe into the G-O-P's recall election campaigns involving Governor Scott Walker among others. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the probe should continue.

But Milwaukee District Judge Rudolph Randa shut it down yesterday for the second time this week. This time, Randa said an appeal from prosecutors earlier in the case was frivolous. The judge said prosecutors had no business claiming they were immune from being sued.

The John Doe probe has been looking into alleged illegal coordination between outside groups and Republican candidates in the 2011-and-'12 recall elections -- including the governor. Democrats have used the case to slam Walker as he runs for re-election this fall.

One of the main targets of the John Doe, the Wisconsin Club for Growth, filed the original lawsuit. It said the investigation violated its free speech rights -- and Randa agreed on Tuesday. Randall Crocker, an attorney for the prosecutors, disagreed that his side's claim of immunity was frivolous. Crocker said it will be up to a higher court to decide that.

Meanwhile the Club for Growth's attorney plans to get depositions in the case soon. David Rivkin said prosecutors and perhaps some politicians might have to provide sworn testimony.

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