Are Republicans f**king power mad? In one of the most crass and intimidating efforts ever, in the name of “oversight,” Republicans want to expose witnesses and their statements, despite the promise of immunity and confidentiality in closed John Doe probes. JS:
Republican lawmakers … want the (John Doe) records — and the power to arrest prosecutors and others to force them to testify before a legislative committee … AB845, would create a legislative committee with subpoena power and anyone who failed to show up could be arrested and brought before the committee to testify, the bill says“…to carry out the duties and powers" of the committee.
Ah, the POWERS of the committee. After shielding themselves from all future John Doe investigations, Republicans are now sending the message that if you get involved in anyway, and talk, they’ll call you before their committee.
State Rep. David Craig (R-Big Bend), the lead sponsor of the bill in the Assembly, said the move is needed to ensure John Doe investigators and others in law enforcement are not abusing their power. "It's really secret areas of government that the Legislature really should have oversight over."
Madison attorney Lester Pines questioned whether such a law would be valid, saying he didn't believe legislators could gain access to records that have been sealed by court order. "They have no idea what they're doing," said Pines, a Democrat who in recent years has sued over a number of laws enacted by Republicans. "People testify in John Does under promises of immunity and confidentiality.
And like everything else, Republicans are solving a problem based on a complete fiction:
Craig acknowledged that the proposal would allow lawmakers access to all of the records from the now-closed John Doe II. He said that considering the claims of predawn "paramilitary raids," lawmakers should be able to review how such probes have been conducted to determine whether there were "imprudent decisions by law enforcement."
At a public hearing Wednesday on the bill, Jim Palmer of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association warned that a number of the state's major law enforcement organizations have serious concerns about the proposal … the measure would likely compromise ongoing criminal investigations, undermine local control and limit law enforcement's ability to respond quickly in emergency situations.