Bachmann campaign target of ethics probe
WASHINGTON — Rep. Michele Bachmann and her short-lived campaign last year for the GOP presidential nomination are being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
A lawyer for the Minnesota Republican said on Monday that Bachmann is cooperating with the investigation. The Office of Congressional Ethics is an independent investigative body established by the House five years ago to conduct preliminary investigations into allegations of misconduct by House members or their aides. The panel can dismiss cases or refer them to the ethics committee.
“There are no allegations that the congresswoman engaged in any wrongdoing,” lawyer William McGinley, of Patton Boggs said. “We are constructively engaged with the OCE and are confident that at the end of their review the OCE Board will conclude that Congresswoman Bachmann did not do anything inappropriate.”
The Daily Beast first reported Monday that Bachmann was the subject of an OCE investigation of financial transactions by her presidential campaign.
Bachmann's presidential campaign, which ended after a lackluster sixth place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, 2012, produced a complaint with the Federal Election's Commission and a lawsuit.
In January, former Bachmann aide Peter Waldron wrote in a letter to the Federal Election Commission that Bachmann's campaign made improper payments to an Iowa state senator who served as her state chairman. Bachmann for President paid state Sen. Kent Sorenson $7,500 a month, including money through an associated political action committee, Waldron wrote in a letter to the FEC.
Waldron's letter also alleged that unpaid staffers and contractors were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting interviews with attorneys or law enforcement before checking with the campaign.
Bachmann's attorney, McGinley, has previously denied Waldron's allegations. Sorenson has also said he violated no state or federal campaign laws while serving as Bachmann's chairman. Waldron was Bachmann's national field coordinator from July 2011 to January 2012.
In July 2012, another former Bachmann campaign staffer, Barb Heki, sued Bachmann and her campaign, alleging that Sorenson stole a private email list and used it without permission.
Bachmann announced her presidential bid in June 2011, portraying herself as the race's true conservative candidate. She won the Ames, Iowa straw poll in August 2011, but dropped out after the day after the Iowa caucuses.
Bachmann then announced she would run for re-election to her U.S. House seat and won a surprisingly close contest by just over 4,000 votes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Financial exec gets 8 years for fraud
- World population of trees to people: 422 to 1, team finds
- Army fully opens Ranger School to female soldiers
- Judge clears way for revival of NSA wiretap suit
- Sasquatch sighting! Maine police say Bigfoot artist nabbed
- Baltimore officers on track for trial
- Brothers awarded $750K each for wrongful imprisonment
- 34th senator signs on to Iran nuclear deal, crumbling GOP’s hopes to override veto
- Clerk aims to block Ky. governor’s order
- Obama: Alaska proof of climate change dangers
- Man slain by police said to have had knife