MADISON, Wis. — Federal prosecutors believe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, illegally coordinated fundraising with conservative groups as part of a nationwide ‘‘criminal scheme’’ to violate election laws, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.
No charges have been filed against Walker or any member of his staff. The documents were made public as part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the probe by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth. A federal appeals court judge ordered them publicly released Thursday after prosecutors and the Wisconsin Club for Growth did not object.
One of the filings from lead prosecutor Francis Schmitz outlines previously unknown details about the investigation that began in 2012 as Walker was facing a recall election. No charges have been filed as a result of the investigation.
Prosecutors said Walker, his former chief of staff Keith Gilkes, top adviser R.J. Johnson and others were discussing illegal fundraising and coordination with a number of national groups and prominent figures, including GOP strategist Karl Rove.
The court document quotes an email Walker sent to Rove on May 4, 2011, in which he talks about the important role Johnson played in leading the coordination effort.
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