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Governor Scott Walker On The Journalistic Malpractice Surrounding Friday’s Stories About The Wisconsin Case

Governor Scott Walker (website here) joined me to begin Friday’s program, and he blasted the coverage of the decisions in Wisconsin dismissing the egregious prosecutorial misconduct which has thus far cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin $350,000 in legal defense costs (and who knows how much wasted time) for abusing the prosecutorial process there. (Earlier today, the Journal Sentinel has the story on the costs triggered by the sham probes as a stand alone-story –it is now buried deep in a different story…mustn’t let readers focus on the real cost to the state of these Democratic sehananigans).

Audio:

06-20hhs-walker

Transcript:

HH: I don’t think I have ever seen a more egregiously handled political story than that concerning Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin today. Time Magazine has a headline, Criminal Scheme Will Haunt Scott Walker, which I believe to be objectively slanderous. And joining me now is Governor Scott Walker. Governor, it’s great to have you on.

SW: Great to be back with you, thanks for having me.

HH: But you must be, are you boiling mad at the way that this has been handled by the media today?

SW: Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I mean, they’ve been a willing accomplice to the attacks against us. The truth of the matter is if people have followed any of the fact in what’s happened in the last several years, they’ll know that what was dumped out yesterday should not have been the headline you just mentioned from Time, but rather should be this is the losing argument. This is the argument that lost not once, but twice. Two judges, a state judge, well respected court of appeals judge, long in office before I was there, so no way connected with me, found that the arguments the prosecutors, before any charges or anything else were issued were invalid, and told them to shut their case down. And then more recently, a federal judge said the same thing, and actually told the prosecutors they’d be in contempt of his court if they continued any further on this, because it was not only wrong, their argument, but it was an outright violation of the Constitutionally protected rights of not just me, but others who supported me. And it reminds me of a phrase Abraham Lincoln once said that truth is generally the best vindication against slander. My hope is eventually the truth will get out. But you look at some of these media outlets, and they don’t seem to care much about the truth.

HH: The Michael Shear piece, and I invited him to come on the show today, because I wanted to ask him specifically about a line that he writes, “In the Walker case, there is an even further complicating factor. A number of judges and a number of courts, both state and federal, have yet to agree on whether or not the specific facts of coordination in this case amount to a crime.” In fact, he is wrong. They have all agreed that it does not, and that it is a malicious prosecution. He’s flat-out, 100% wrong.

SW: There’s not a one, at a state or federal court. So it’s not a matter of jurisdiction. You’ve had consistently the same argument. And in fact, the federal judge who made the more recent ruling last night lashed out at the prosecutors again, and said essentially that the prosecutors were trying this case in the court of public opinion, because they failed to have a case in his court according to the law. So it is one more, this isn’t just a matter of them pondering this, that no charges were issued, this case, the reason a John Doe in Wisconsin is put in place, it’s a bizarre law to begin with, it’s all done in secret, but they have to take it before a judge before they can even issue charges. And the judge shut them down. This case has been shut down not once, but twice. It is one where it is filled with mischaracterizations and outright lies. And it’s one in which the media is a willing accomplice of the left, not only in my state, but across the country.

HH: Now Governor Walker, there is a provision in the United States Code, 42 USC Section 1983, that provides for actions to recover damages against individuals who act under the color of state law to injure the Constitutional rights of others. I read today in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel that your state has had already to pay $350,000 dollars to defend these prosecutors against such charges. First of all, are you a party to any of these cases, because they’ve hurt you. They violated your Constitutional rights. But I don’t think you are.

SW: No.

HH: But they are costing…

SW: Yeah, there are other individuals, I mean, you’ve got private, everyday citizens who’ve had to go through this abuse in this process. They’re seeking damages. I’m just frustrated on behalf of the people of my state that not only the cost, not only to be involved in these cases, but the cost and waste of time of these prosecutors, particularly after they were told by both a state and a federal judge that the case was not valid, that they’d need to close it or they’d be in contempt of the court in the case of the federal one. Why they wouldn’t take their time and resources and spend them on much more heavily needed issues dealing with crime and other issues that’s running rampant in their jurisdictions is beyond me, except for the fact I think this goes to the heart of it, and particularly why the media nationally, and even some here in the state of Wisconsin, have jumped on this the way they have. This is the payback an elected official gets for taking on the big government special interests. When we took on the big government union bosses and their interests at the state and local level, these are folks who don’t forget. They came back with the protests, they came back with the recalls, and came back with another wave of recalls. They’re not going to relent. And the bottom line I’m telling people today in Wisconsin and across America, I’m not going to back down, because as Americans, not just as people in Wisconsin, people should be threatened by this. If a prosecutor, even after a judge tells him you’re wrong, this is done, it should be over, can continue to go after people, this is an issue whether you’re on the right or the left, people on the left should be just as concerned about this, because it sets a horrible precedent about people being able to have their Constitutional rights protected.

HH: This is a very revealing story about government misconduct, which ties into the Veterans Administration and the IRS, the pattern and practice of people in government misusing their power. But today, it is particularly a story about the depth to which the media in America has fallen. Now you’re at Ground Zero. You’ve seen them all. I’ve only, I just turned on the computer for a half an hour after I got back from Phoenix and found five stories, each one of which is wrong about this. And I’m curious, do you also not think this is a preemptive strike on Scott Walker, presidential candidate?

SW: Well, I don’t know about the latter, but I do know that for any of us who tend to stick our head up and take on these big issues, I know there is a concerted effort for the people in the media to prey it. But the tough part is I can’t figure out, though, with many in the media, particularly nationally, whether it’s bias or it’s just being lazy, or unfortunately, I think it’s a bit of both, that they didn’t bother to look into the details. There are very few, there’s a handful of outlets out there, most of which are talk radio, but there’s a handful of others out there who took the time to actually understand this, that they jump even, I mean, for them, two titillating things. They took a statement made by prosecutors, even though, even a minute moments, a few minutes of actually researching this would tell you that this argument, this theory had been discounted, like I said, in a federal and a state court long before anything went forward on it. But add to that, the thing that got them really juiced up was an email that was sent to Karl Rove about the Senate recall elections, and making the case about why these elections were so important, and why it was important to get the…there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s exactly why a state and federal judge said there was nothing right with the entire case. But that particular people was, for many on the left, the supposed smoking gun. Well, there’s nothing smoking about it. That’s what any American can do. I can send you an email and say hey, you know what? There’s a really big issue in Wisconsin, I think you should talk about it to your listeners. That’s called free speech. That’s a part of the American Constitution. And again, as Americans, we should be threatened when there are people that somehow think that’s a problem.

HH: A factual question, Governor Walker, two people approached the court to ask that they not release these emails. Their names are not known. Were you one of those two?

SW: No. No, I’m not a party to this case. I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t find out about it until it was revealed yesterday. But I feel bad for those folks or anybody else who’d been concerned about this process, because again, this is one of those who are coming at us, and the reality is the best way if people are mad about this, the best way to get back, because it is clear that they want this to affect our election. I mean, when this John Doe was first, or released the second wave of it, it was right, almost to the day that my opponent announced her campaign last October. It’s been done in the past during the recall elections. You know, my hope is that people will join us in a grassroots effort. We’ve got people all the time that come to us at www.scottwalker.com, and help us out with the grassroots, and help us get our message out, because this is a tight race. And this, you know, honestly, I care less about what it means to me nationally, and more about what it means in a state that is evenly tied, if not leaning Democrat. The last time a president who was Republican carried this state was Ronald Reagan, and even though I won, and won again in the recall, it is an incredibly tough, tight election in Wisconsin. We need all the help we can get to counter some of these vicious attacks.

HH: I encourage everyone to visit www.scottwalker.com not only to help support Governor Walker, if you live in Wisconsin or support him with a donation from outside, but also as an example of, I actually think it may be the best political campaign website I’ve ever seen, given the way that you roll across the bottom of it. And I don’t know who came up with this, what our friends are saying, this rolling barrage of Tweets. Who came up with this idea? This is really kind of brilliant.

SW: Oh, it’s fun. One of our, we brought a whole digital team inside our campaign, and Matt and the guys over there did a great job of it. Instead of contracting out to somebody in D.C., we actually have it in house, and it’s a bunch of young, talented, innovative folks who are doing that. And even with this issue, I thought one of the most amazing things in addition to obviously outlets like talk radio in my state, and people like yourself, add to that Twitter and Facebook and I’m on all the time, and it’s been an incredible way to do an end around the newspapers and places like Time and others out there who have not taken the time to get the facts out. We get this out through alternative means of media out there, and I think in the end, we can ultimately triumph.

HH: Now last question before I switch topics on you briefly, would you consider suing Time for slander? This is really a slanderous news story.

SW: Oh, I think the biggest thing we’re going to do is push back hard and make the case that I mean, I think more so than making it in court is making, you know, proving this. The next week come, and the next week comes, we’re going to keep pushing back on Time, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and anybody else out there to say let’s have the story about where the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say, let’s have the rest of the story here. And before I think we can pursue anything else like that, we’re going to try and make the case to give them the chance to go out and fill in the rest of the story that’s yet been untold.

HH: They ought to actually correct, the Shear story is an abomination when it comes to journalism. Now I would like to change the subject to another person who might be running for president, and it’s former Secretary of State Clinton. I know you’re busy running a state and your own campaign for reelection, Governor Walker, but have you seen any of her appearances thus far?

SW: I haven’t seen the appearances. I’ve only heard about them from other folks out there. But I think it’s, you know, the one thing that’s surprised me the most, because the Clintons generally are pretty smart folks, was that, at least politically, was the statement about being broke. And I think it’s similar to statements I’ve heard from other folks in Washington, where it’s just this kind of void you hear from people in Washington where it’s kind of an echo chamber. They just listen to each other. And it’s horribly out of touch with where the rest of the country is at. And I know as a governor, I mean, I was just in the middle of my state in Brownsville at a small construction company. I was earlier today up in Prescott in the northwest part of our state. I started out at my state capital in the morning. As a governor, you’ve got to go out and talk to real people every day, and hear about their dreams, their wishes, their concerns out there. A lot of folks in Washington very rarely, if ever, make that connection. And I think that’s going to be a challenge for her and a lot of other people like her.

HH: She also, in regards to Benghazi, said that there are answers about some things of Benghazi, but I’m quoting now, “Not all of them, not enough, frankly, I’m still looking for answers.” That is an admission, I think, that we have a lot to get further on the record about Benghazi. Were you surprised to hear the former First Lady and Secretary of State agree that we need more questions?

SW: Well, I think that’s just a recognition that whether she says it or not, and I think most Americans realize that there are serious questions there, and you don’t have to be a foreign policy expert to be concerned about that.

HH: She’s also admitted we didn’t get that done in regards to the Status Of Forces Agreement, that saw America withdraw its troops from Iraq in 2011. I know as governor, you’re in charge of the National Guard. I know you deployed a lot of people out of Wisconsin to both Afghanistan and Iraq. And some didn’t come back, and some came back grievously injured. What are you thoughts on watching Iraq collapse and the violence surge there, because the President and the Secretary of State did not have the ability to keep an American presence there?

SW: Well, Iraq, Afghanistan, the whole foreign policy discussion is frustrating, mainly as governor, because as you mentioned, I was just over at, just yesterday, over talking to some of our National Guard leadership. It’s incredibly frustrating. Right now, even as we speak, a lot of Americans don’t realize this, but this is true not only in Wisconsin, but across the country. I’ve got three units deployed, two from the Wisconsin National Guard, and out of the Army Reverse here in the state of Wisconsin. It’s similar in other states out there. We’ve got men and women laying their lives on the line. Since 9/11, we’ve lost over 160, and we’ve had incredible numbers going over, and many have been injured. Many I’ve seen over at Walter Reed and Bethesda, and many others who’ve come home not physically injured, but have plenty of injuries that they carry with them. Those men and women, completely dedicated not only to the Guard here in the State of Wisconsin, but obviously to our country, and you know, willing to serve. Many of them were inspired as young people not long after 9/11. But we should not be putting them in a position of being in harm’s way if there’s not a clear and concise agenda, a clear and concise plan that the commander-in-chief and his administration are pushing. And for a lot of us, we’re very fearful of where that’s headed right now.

HH: Two final questions, Senator, then-Secretary of State Clinton also said about Syria, she wanted to do more, and she pushed very hard to get that done. “But as I say in my book, I believe that Harry Truman was right. The buck stops with the President.” Are you surprised to see her throw President Obama under the bus for Syria?

SW: Oh, I think it’s pretty clear that you know, in the end, there’s going to be an effort to try and distinguish herself from the President, because she can read the tea leaves and see where the poll numbers are right now. But it’s hard, it’s pretty hard to make that argument when you were a key part of setting that policy in the first place.

HH: And a last question, we have, thank goodness, captured Ahmed Abu Khattala. He’s on USS New York headed towards the United States. Should that ship go and drop him at Gitmo, Scott Walker? Or should they bring him to the criminal courts of the United States where he’ll get his Miranda rights and a bunch of lawyers?

SW: I think he’s an enemy combatant. And I think we treat enemy combatants as enemy combatants, no matter where they’re found and no matter what they’re doing. It’s not a crime committed against the United States. It was an act of war taken against the people who are representatives of the United States government, and ultimately, the United States people. And I think we need to be mindful of the fact that we lost four individuals, and they were part of the foreign service. And I think we need to be mindful of that and of their families.

HH: So why do you think they’re taking them to the United States? Why not Gitmo? What’s the President’s thinking?

SW: That one, I don’t know. That’s, I don’t know that I’d be the person who could answer what the President’s thinking on most of any topic.

HH: Governor Scott Walker, thank you for joining me on a busy day, and good luck in the continued effort. Mark Twain also said a lie is halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on. We’re trying to help you catch up. But good luck in catching up. They’ve done you a grave disservice today at Time Magazine and other places. Thanks for joining us on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

SW: Thank you.

End of interview.

  • author thumbnail
    Hugh Hewitt
  • Hugh Hewitt is a lawyer, law professor, and broadcast journalist. A proficient blogger, Hugh Hewitt has one of the most visited political blogs in the U.S.

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