Gov. Walker responds to release of emails

WASHINGTON — Speaking to reporters Friday for the first time since the release of thousands of previously sealed documents, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declined to say whether he knew of or personally used a secret email system in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive.

“The only comment I am going to say about all of this, on all of this, because I am not going through 27,000 pages of stuff, is that a Democratic district attorney looked at all that information and interviews … and ultimately issued charges against the people that they did and concluded that legal process as of March last year,” Walker said.

“They didn’t find any other action to bring that forward and so that’s the end of it. So I am not going to go back and relive all these things.”

Walker was in Washington to attend the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

Documents released Wednesday linked Walker to a secret email system that was used in his county office. Staffers used the system to avoid public scrutiny and disclosure. The documents also showed close ties between his campaign operation and taxpayer-paid staff during the months leading to the November 2010 election.

Democrats have pounced on the trove of documents.

Asked if efforts by the Democratic National Committee will weigh him down as he faces re-election and a potential presidential run in 2016, Walker said, “No, because again unlike other issues that have come up lately, this is something that’s past. They are digging up stuff from the past about a legal process that actually ended last March.”

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s office launched a nearly three-year-long investigation, in May 2010, leading to the convictions of six individuals, including three Walker aides, an appointee and a major campaign contributor.

“Again, a district attorney in a county led by a Democrat reviewed all this information,” Walker said. “I am probably one of the most scrutinized elected officials in the country.”

Walker added, “We are confident going forward. What I think … with the DNC, with others both within the state and across the country, they desperately want something negative to happen in Wisconsin.”

Walker was asked if he would agree to hold a news conference to address the document disclosures, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did when controversy erupted over the closure of lanes heading into the George Washington Bridge.

“No, because I am done,” Walker said. “The difference is he (Christie) was just at the beginning of his process. This has been done. Your paper and others have reported on it. You are basically getting a splash because political opponents of mine want to draw attention to something that has already been resolved as of last March.”

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