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Federal appeals judge orders John Doe probe documents released

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A federal appeals judge has ordered the public release of documents from the John Doe investigation into the state's recall elections.

Judge Frank Easterbrook did not say how many documents would have to be released, or what they involved, exactly. He said nobody had opposed the release of at least one batch of records.

However, two unnamed clients later asked Easterbrook to change his mind and keep the documents sealed.

Prosecutors had asked that various records in the John Doe be released. The probe centers around alleged illegal coordination of fundraising and other activities between outside groups and Republican candidates in the 2011 and '12 recall contests -- including that of Governor Scott Walker.

The investigation is on hold, after Federal Judge Rudolph Randa said one of the targets of the probe had its free speech rights violated.

A number of details have already been released in various court filings about what's supposed to be a secret evidence gathering investigation, to determine if charges are warranted.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)