Michele Bachmann is facing a congressional ethics probe into possible campaign finance law violations. Yes, the Republican Congresswoman who sees deviance and divisiveness around every corner, the House Tea Party Caucus founder who infamously demanded in 2008 an investigation into the “anti-America” views of her own colleagues — albeit on the other side of the aisle — is now facing possible ethics charges herself.
“The Daily Beast has learned that federal investigators are now interviewing former Bachmann campaign staffers nationwide about alleged intentional campaign-finance violations,” John Avlon at the Daily Beast writes in an exclusive report:
The investigators are working on behalf of the Office of Congressional Ethics, which probes reported improprieties by House members and their staffs and then can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee.
“I have been interviewed by investigators,” says Peter Waldron, a former Bachmann staffer who’s embroiled in his own fight with his former boss, involving his allegations of pay-to-play politics and improper payments by the campaign—making him one of several members of Bachmann’s inner circle who’ve fallen out with the woman they once hoped would become commander in chief. While he was careful to avoid specifics in regard to the investigating body, Waldron said that “investigators came [and] interviewed me and are interviewing other staff members across the country.”
Two other former staffers confirmed the existence of the investigation this weekend, and on Monday Bachmann’s campaign counsel, William McGinley, of the high-powered firm Patton Boggs, confirmed that the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) was looking into the congresswoman’s presidential campaign last year.
“There are no allegations that the Congresswoman engaged in any wrongdoing,” McGinley 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.”
Former staffers tell The Daily Beast that investigators have allegedly asked about allegations of improper transfer of funds and under-the-table payments actions by Bachmann’s presidential campaign, specifically in relation to the campaign’s national political director, Guy Short, and Bachmann’s onetime Iowa campaign chairman, state Sen. Kent Sorenson. Questions directly about Bachmann, they said, have been primarily focused on what she knew about those men’s actions and when she knew it.
Regular readers will remember well Peter Waldron, the top Bachmann aide and controversial faith-based advisor, who announced late in 2011 that the Holy Ghost told him that Michele Bachmann is the one for president. Waldron, unsurprisingly, given Bachmann’s proclivities, has been linked to Uganda Pastor Martin Ssempa, a chief sponsor of Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill. And, also unsurprisingly, the Bachmann campaign was forced to scrub the internet of evidence of the radical religious beliefs and possible terrorism activities of Waldron.
Perhaps the Congressional ethics committee should dig much, much deeper.
Of course, this is not the only investigation that’s rumored out there about Bachmann.
“Five of Michele Bachmann’s former staffers say she still hasn’t paid them for their work, and not because she can’t spare the relatively paltry $5,000 each — because they refuse to sign a shady nondisclosure agreement,” Jezebel reported in January.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.