Gov. Walker answers questions regarding legal defense fund

MADISON -- For the first time Wednesday, May 30th, Gov. Scott Walker told FOX6 News what his legal defense fund is for, and what it's not for.

Gov. Walker answered some questions regarding his legal defense fund while on the campaign trail in Appleton Wednesday.

Gov. Scott Walker has raised more than $30 million since he took office, including at least $5.8 million in the last five weeks.

Walker reported his latest fundraising totals on Tuesday, May 29th, a week before he faces Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the recall election.

"I think it's hard working taxpayers. I think people saw the attacks we were under. It's not just the last few weeks - it's the last few months. I've been under attack for a year-and-a-half," Gov. Walker said.

Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett reported fundraising of $3.9 million on the year and said his funds would be used for the campaign.

"I did tell all the people who contributed that not a penny of their contributions would go to pay my criminal defense fees. I don't have criminal defense fees," Barrett said.

On the campaign trail Wednesday, Barrett repeated his demand that Gov. Walker release information related to his legal defense fund, saying its existence is a sign of deep trouble.

"$260,000. We are not talking about a parking ticket here. There is clearly something that is going on, and Scott Walker is the one person in this state who can tell the people of this state exactly what his involvement has been," Barrett said.

Barrett says if Gov. Walker is paying bills for former associates, he could be buying their loyalty.

"Having someone pay the legal bills you otherwise would be personally liable for is at a much different level," Barrett said.

Gov. Scott Walker has transferred $100,000 to his legal defense fund he established related to an ongoing criminal probe that’s already ensnared some of his former aides and associates in Milwaukee County.

Walker’s latest campaign finance report filed with the state on Tuesday, May 29th shows transfers of $70,000 and $30,000 out of his campaign account to the Scott Walker Trust. He previously transferred $60,000 into the account.

In response, Gov. Walker said Wednesday the money is not going to pay legal bills for any of his former associates. "It's purely about our process to continue cooperating," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker says his legal fund is simply to pay lawyers to examine emails and other documents in question as part of the probe.

"There are thousands of documents we're helping them out with. It doesn't make any sense for me as governor to spend my time -- hours, over days, doing that. We have other people doing that so I can do my job," Gov. Walker said.

Both candidates will meet face-to-face Thursday night, May 31st during the final debate before voters take to the polls this upcoming Tuesday, June 5th.

Related stories: