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.
"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.”