Michele Bachmann Faces New Ethics Inquiry


Rep. Michele Bachmann recently announced that she will not seek re-election in 2014, and said her decision was not related to the ethics inquiry.

Michele Bachmann is facing yet another ethics inquiry, this time over whether her campaign coordinated with a Super PAC, in a violation of election laws. The investigation began after former staff member Peter Waldron complained to the FEC and FBI he overheard a conversation about advertising spots ahead of the Iowa caucus. The self-described whistleblower—the campaign is going with "disgruntled employee"—also revealed an email in which Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, solicited donations in excess of the $5,000 maximum allowed to be raised by campaign staff. The House Ethics Committee is currently looking into allegations that the onetime Republican front-runner misused campaign funds and staff to promote her book.

NYT:

"The Department of Justice demanded records from the super PAC last week of its finances and its communications with Mrs. Bachmann; Marcus Bachmann, her husband; and former staff members, according to a grand jury subpoena reviewed by The New York Times.

The investigation appears to stem from a complaint a former campaign staff member made to the Federal Election Commission and to the F.B.I. The staff member told of overhearing the president of the super PAC asking a Bachmann senior adviser about buying advertising on radio and TV stations in Des Moines ahead of the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3, 2012.

Coordination between a campaign and a super PAC violates federal election law if it meets certain criteria, said Paul S. Ryan, a senior counsel at the independent Campaign Legal Center.

Mrs. Bachmann is already the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation into her campaign finances and allegations her staff was improperly used to promote her political biography, “Core of Conviction.”'

Waldron recently published a critical e-book, “Bachmannistan: Behind the Lines.”

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