Wisconsin's Walker Part of 'Criminal Scheme,' Documents Allege

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus/Reuters

Et tu, Scott Walker?

Prosecutors allege that Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker was at the center of a "criminal scheme" to coordinate political spending with outside groups, according to court documents released Thursday.

Walker is popular among both conservative Republicans and the party's mainstream and is often touted as an ideal presidential candidate in 2016. After New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, also mentioned as a top 2016 GOP prospect, became embroiled in the "Bridgegate" scandal, focus turned on Walker as the Republicans' best shot at the White House. The parallels with Christie's situation were immediately a topic on Twitter, as FiveThirtyEight political analyst Harry Enten joked:

Christie/Walker '16

— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) June 19, 2014

Depending on what happens next, the criminal allegations Walker now faces could throw a wrench in his 2016 ambitions, as well as his re-election as governor this fall. He is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive and Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce.

The allegations against Walker include a "concerted effort to circumvent Wisconsin's campaign finance contribution prohibitions, limitations and disclosure requirements" to support his recall election bid in 2012, according to The Hill. The scheme is also alleged to have included support for other GOP lawmakers.

Walker was not alone among prominent Republicans involved in the lawsuit. Included in discussions about illegal funding schemes are such prominent Republicans as former president George W. Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, according to the Associated Press.