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Report: Judge in second John Doe probe doesn't believe actions were illegal

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The judge who's overseeing a John Doe probe into campaign activities in the state's recall elections did not think the behavior in question was illegal.

That's according to blacked out information released this week as part of new court filings in an effort to shut down the John Doe investigation.

The Wisconsin Reporter said it put the blacked out material into a word processing program, and the covered information could be easily seen. The Associated Press said it could do the same.

The filings confirmed the reason for the John Doe -- that conservative special interest groups had allegedly coordinated illegally with GOP recall candidates on their campaigns in 2011 and '12.

The blacked out material reportedly showed that Judge Gregory Peterson did not see any law violations. Still, the judge reportedly said that a higher court should look at the matter -- and the state's probe was not frivolous.

As a result, at least one subpoena he quashed to gain evidence from the outside groups was set aside -- meaning that prosecutors did not have to give back anything they seized.

It was not known if any evidence was actually seized from the main group that's suing over the John Doe, the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth.

Prosecutors are seeking a higher court's review of Peterson's ruling.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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