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Legal briefs due in two weeks on more John Doe documents

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  All sides in the John Doe probe into the state's recall elections will have two more weeks to recommend which documents should be unsealed. Prosecutors, a target of the probe, and two undisclosed parties have been poring over three-thousand pages of secret records, after 266 pages were released in June. Today was the deadline to finish the new review, but Federal Judge Rudolph Randa extended it to July 17th.

Five media groups asked Randa to release all the documents in the John Doe. Prosecutors have asked for the same thing, saying the need for secrecy no longer exists. The Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of the targets, says its proprietary data should be kept under wraps. The undisclosed parties said the previous release of records was unfair to Governor Scott Walker and others -- and they want all the files kept secret.

Judge Randa halted the two-year-old John Doe probe in May, saying prosecutors violated the Club for Growth's free speech rights by keeping the group quiet. In the previous document release, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz put out a theory that Walker and two other G-O-P operatives headed an illegal coordinated effort to win his and other recall elections, with the help of 12 outside groups.

Walker insists he has done nothing wrong. An attorney for Schmitz later made it was clear that the governor himself is not being targeted.

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