MADISON, Wis. — A federal judge on Wednesday gave prosecutors, a conservative group and two unnamed parties more time to review which documents could be unsealed in a secret investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and right-leaning organizations broke a campaign finance law.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa put the investigation on hold in May as part of a lawsuit the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth filed challenging investigators' basis for the probe. The judge agreed with the group's argument that the investigation violated its free speech rights.
A federal appellate judge on June 19 released 266 pages of previously redacted documents filed in the investigation. The documents indicate that prosecutors believe that Walker's campaign and conservative groups illegally coordinated fundraising and advertising.
The same day the documents were released, Randa ordered all the parties in the lawsuit to review the rest of the case filings and report back to him by July 3 on what more should be unsealed.
The parties filed a joint motion with Randa on Tuesday asking to push the report back to July 17. They say the sealed record contains more than 3,000 documents and the parties will need to compare notes, which will mean circulating a draft report among all the attorneys and conference calls all wrapped around the 4th of July weekend.
Randa granted the motion Wednesday afternoon.
No one has been charged in the probe. Walker, who is running for re-election in November and is widely considered a possible presidential contender in 2016, has insisted he did nothing wrong.
The prosecutors have asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow them to restart the investigation. That court issued a briefing schedule Wednesday with final filings due by Oct. 2, a little more than a month before the election.