House office probes Bachmann's 2012 campaign

Posted: March 27, 2013

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 Monday that Bachmann is cooperating with the investigation. The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) 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 House Ethics Committee.

"There are no allegations that the congresswoman engaged in any wrongdoing," said her lawyer, William McGinley, of Patton Boggs. "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 campaign, which ended after a lackluster sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, 2012, has already produced a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and a lawsuit.

In January, former Bachmann aide Peter Waldron wrote in a letter to the commission that Bachmann's campaign made improper payments to an Iowa state senator who served as her state chairman. Bachmann for President paid Kent Sorenson $7,500 a month, including money through an associated political action committee, Waldron wrote in a letter to the Federal Election Commission.

Waldron's letter also alleged that unpaid staffers and contractors were required to sign a nondisclosure agreement prohibiting interviews with lawyers or law enforcement without permission.

Bachmann's attorney, McGinley, has previously denied Waldron's allegations.

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