Audio Undermines Claims by Walker Aide

     MILWAUKEE (CN) – Audio from the raid of a former aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker appears to contradict her civil rights claims, new evidence shows.
     Cynthia “Cindy” Archer filed suit last month against Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and his staff over an early-morning search of her home in 2011 and subsequent police interviews as part of the office’s second John Doe investigation into campaign-finance crimes alleged during Walker’s term as Milwaukee county executive.
     Archer claims her ordeal was part of a politically motivated campaign of harassment Chisholm orchestrated against Walker and his staff over the controversial Act 10 legislation that limited the power of public-employee unions.
     Archer’s case has since been removed to federal court where the DA’s office has filed audio that appears to contradict her narrative of the “raid.”
     Though Archer says investigators threw a warrant at her without giving her a chance to read it, and failed to give her the Miranda warning, a recording from the search released by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel clearly captures investigator Aaron Weiss reading a search warrant over several minutes, after which Archer can be heard asking questions about the scope of the search.
     Archer’s attorney, David Rivkin Jr. with Washington, D.C.-based BakerHostetler, said the audio paints an incomplete picture of the search, which took place all over the house and involved multiple investigators.
     “You cannot hear many of the conversations that have transpired,” Rivkin said in a phone interview. “It’s a fact.”
     The audio does capture Weiss reading Archer her Miranda rights later in the recording, after telling her multiple times that she is not under arrest and does not have to talk to investigators.
     “I’m sort of doing you a courtesy by letting you get a coffee and smoke a cigarette just because I imagine being woken up at 6 in the morning by a bunch of people in black suits is not the way you want to wake up,” Weiss can be heard saying, in apparent contradiction of Archer’s claims officers “screamed at her” when she reached for her cigarettes.
     Women can be heard laughing throughout the conversation, during which Weiss apparently tells Archer’s partner that they will not need to seize her phone, and the group chats about coffee makers before stepping outside for a smoke break.
     While Rivkin concedes that Archer was apparently Mirandized, he said the case is “vastly more important than a couple of vignettes.”
     Noting that the audio offers no affirmation from Archer before, during or after Weiss reads the warrant, Rivkin proposed that the tape was created by someone who sat in a squad car for the first 10 to 15 minutes of the search.
     These types of admissions “are very, very contextual,” Rivkin added. “They don’t necessarily speak for themselves in unequivocal fashion.”
     Another portion of the audio seems to contradict Archer’s claim that investigators were resistant to “questioning” her in view of the neighbors at the dining room table.
     Weiss can be heard on the tape suggests “the table” instead of the couch as the best location to go over papers associated with the search.
     The full recording is more than three hours long, during which Archer tells Weiss she “never did anything wrong” before apparent questioning by other investigators about a county land deal.
     An answer by Chisolm and the other defendants to the complaint filed Friday calls Archer’s allegations “baseless and meritless.”

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