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UPDATE: John Doe investigation halted again

The judge's gavel is seen in court room 422 of the New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street February 3, 2012. Picture taken February 3, 20
The judge's gavel is seen in court room 422 of the New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street February 3, 2012. Picture taken February 3, 20

MILWAUKEE (WRN)  For the second time in three days, a federal judge has ordered a halt to the John Doe probe into campaign activities surrounding Wisconsin’s recall elections.

Just a day after a federal appeals court stayed his initial order in the case, Judge Rudolph Randa ruled that an appeal by prosecutors to keep the investigation going was frivolous. The decision puts a preliminary injunction back in place ordering an end to the probe and the destruction of evidence.

The decision is aimed at an original appeal by prosecutors, after Randa rejected arguments that they are immune from a federal lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Club for Growth. The group is one of several targeted by the investigation, which is looking at possible illegal coordination between issue advocacy groups and Republican recall election candidates.

Wisconsin Club for Growth attorney David Rivkin praised the decision, saying Judge Randa corrected a technical oversight identified by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Rivkin says the decision re-affirms that “the John Doe probe is an abuse of government power to target private citizens for exercising their free speech rights.”

The decision will likely result in another appeal in the case.

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