The controversy surrounding the “John Doe III” investigation continues, as Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald recently called for an expanded investigation into the former Government of Accountability Board. Senator Leah Vukmir, whose emails were revealed in a report by Attorney General Brad Schimel as among those targeted, called for criminal charges on Tuesday against those involved. In a Wednesday interview with Media Trackers Communications Director Jerry Bader, Vukmir praised Fitzgerald’s initiative to further the investigation, and spoke of her own plan take action against those accountable.
Schimel’s report revealed that there were numerous private emails exchanged between Vukmir and her daughter in the GAB files, some even containing medical information. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that at a recent Wispolitics.com luncheon Vukmir called for legal action:
“I believe some of the things that were done, people should go to jail for this.”
“That’s not careless, that’s showing intent. Personal emails between my daughter and me. That’s just beyond the pale. It’s wrong.”
Along with Vukmir speaking out against the findings of Schimel’s report, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called for the resignation of the Elections Commission administrator Mike Haas and Ethics Commission administrator Brian Bell. Additionally according to the Wisconsin State Journal, Fitzgerald recently called for the state Department of Justice to expand its investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign to include the activities of the former Government Accountability Board.
In an interview with Bader, Vukmir s praised Fitzgerald’s initiative in pursuing the investigation into the former GAB and as for what legal action she would pursue, Vukmir said she could not disclose details since she is currently speaking with legal experts:
“It should not be a surprise to anyone that I called for people to go prison, I said this when I put out my initial statement the day I found out about the Attorney General’s report. I can’t go into the specifics of the legal side of it as I am talking to legal experts at this time, but I think it’s fair to say that given everything that we have looked at, there was a call to stop this investigation, it was found unconstitutional, and yet there are so many things that point in the direction that this was the weaponization for political purposes of the former GAB. When you have a file that is found that has my name on it that says Opposition Research, and 150 of my personal emails included in it, emails between my daughter and myself that include sensitive medial information, this is not what an agency of government is supposed to be doing and clearly this was not a careless act and showed an intent.”
In the interview Vukmir also supported Vos’ and Fitzgerald’s call for the resignation of the two Elections and Ethics Commissioners, Haas and Bell:
“I truly believe that this was a witch hunt from the get-go, from the beginning, otherwise I would have never stepped up and worked to author the bill to dismantle the GAB and to help with the John Doe reform laws. To think that it’s continued beyond the original John Doe 1 and 2 really calls into question an agency that was out of control. This is so un-American and we need to get to the bottom of it, the Attorney General’s report is a good start but we need to do more.”
Vukmir also addressed the mainstream media’s recent spin of the story, as outlets such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal have suggested that Schimel has mischaracterized the investigation, and have even suggested illegal behavior on Schimel’s part, for releasing names of the people within the former GAB files:
“We shouldn’t be surprised that all these people involved are upset that the Attorney General let the cat out of the bag as to what they were up to. It’s interesting that the Judge who issues these warrants and subpoenas doesn’t recall my private emails involving my daughter, that they were targeted.”
“It’s absurd and again they are trying to take the attention off the fact that what has happened is incredibly egregious, and think about it again if myself, other legislators, other staff members, roughly 35 individuals had all of their personal emails for several years downloaded and put onto a hard-drive that is missing, and it was kept in an unsecure location where many people could have had access to it. It is disturbing, it is horrifying, no parent should have to call their adult daughter and say you know what this what happened, and I did, I had to call my daughter and tell her, and within twenty minutes she was receiving text messages from friends back home hearing about the report that was out there.”
Vukmir also warned of the future implications of this investigation and that she will continue to fight against this despite the mainstream media seeming to try and quiet the situation:
“This has a chilling effect on free speech, it has a chilling effect on individuals desiring to run for office.”
“We have to be vigilant always and it is somewhat vindication that we did the right thing when we reformed the John Doe law and dismantling the GAB. I would dismantle it again even now knowing that I was a victim of their investigation, it was the right thing to do then, it was the right thing to do now, and as Americans we have to be concerned at this level of overreach at any level of government, and confirms why I’m running for US Senate and why I will take on these same sorts of battles at the federal level. No level of government can allow this to happen.”
The full interview with Senator Leah Vukmir can be found here: