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A federal appeals court decided Thursday to unseal two dozen documents in a secret investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups in 2012.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had planned to release nearly three dozen documents in the probe on Tuesday but held off after one of the groups, two unnamed parties and prosecutors leading the probe objected. It issued an order on Thursday, however, saying 10 documents would remain sealed and the rest would be released. It's not clear when they documents will be made public.

Prosecutors have been looking into whether Walker's 2012 recall campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups on advertising and fundraising. They've been using a so-called John Doe procedure, a proceeding similar to a federal grand jury where information is tightly controlled.

One of the groups, Wisconsin Club for Growth, has convinced a federal judge to put the probe on hold, arguing the investigation violates its free speech rights and the prosecutors are liberals out to tarnish conservatives.

The prosecutors have asked the 7th Circuit to let them continue. Meanwhile, a coalition of media and open government groups has filed a side appeal demanding the court unseal hundreds of pages of documents linked to the investigation.


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