Michele Bachmann Could Face Ethics Probe

John Avlon reports at The Daily Beast that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann could be facing a House Ethics Committee probe related to her 2012 Presidential campaign:

The Daily Beast has learned that federal investigators are now interviewing former Bachmann campaign staffers nationwide about alleged intentional campaign-finance violations. 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.

There have been stories about oddities regarding the Bachmann campaign’s spending during the Presidential race for awhile now, particularly in Iowa. Whether they will amount to anything dependings on what the OCE investigation turns up.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    “There are no allegations that the Congresswoman engaged in any wrongdoing,” McGinley said.

    Of all the statements in this article, that actually seems the most unlikely…

  2. Argon says:

    Meh. This will result in heavily lawyered wrist-slapping at best. It should result in jail time but this intersects with the political so it’s a get out of jail free card for all involved.

  3. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Per reporting at the time, Bachmann screwed over many of her campaign staffers financially. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they were lining up to give testimony against her.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Farm Subsidies.
    Medicare money.
    And now questionable financial practices.
    Yup…she’s a Republican…hypocritical to the core.

  5. legion says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Yeah, that’s the one thing that gives me hope @Argon might be wrong… Politicians _always_ have things they don’t want brought into the light.

  6. Markey says:

    Swiss passport time?


  7. Lynda says:

    This is the repugnant woman who slandered Huma Abedin, claiming she was linked to Muslim extremists based on no evidence at all.

    That her own ethics are now being investigated I find a delightful irony.

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’ll wager we’ll hear a LOT more about this case from Doug than we will about the investigation into Senator Menendez’ finances.

    Any takers?

  9. labman57 says:

    Obviously this bogus probe is part of a grand conspiracy being perpetrated by that criminal residing in the White House to tarnish the reputation and besmirch the integrity of that selfless patriot from Minnesota.

    The preceding announcement was brought to you by your local neighborhood Tea Party loon.

  10. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: As soon as there’s news about Menendez that doesn’t involve Tucker Carlson incompetently trying to hire prostitutes, I’m sure we’ll hear about it. Until then, if you’re so disappointed that Doug & James & everyone else aren’t paying proper attention to the stories that have your dander up, you could always write your own blog instead of trying to threadjack here all the time…

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @legion: You mean, news like Menendez forked over a check for about 1/3 his total savings to cover a couple years’ worth of free plane fights and housing from Dr. Melgen, who benefited mightily from Menendez’ actions in the Senate?

    Doug’s written four stories about Menendez since the scandal broke. Three have focused entirely on the sex angle; only one even mentioned Melgen. Why, it’s almost as if Doug is more interested in kicking a conservative news source than the corruption of a leading Democratic senator or something.

  12. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea’s whiny puppet Jenos Idanian #13:

    Instead of whining about what bloggers choose to write about, why don’t you start your own blog? Oh, that’s right! You decided to leave your blog to become a comment troll and whine about what topics bloggers cover. That’s something you used to dislike when commenters did it on your old blog, but hey, you can model your new self after whatever idiots you want.

    I’m sure Doug and the other OTB bloggers really care if you think they are writing about enough topics that interest you. Keeps them up nights, I’ll bet.

  13. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Gosh, little boy, if you find this site so offensive to your sensibilities, maybe you should run along and play with the Breit-tards. I’m sure they’re whining non-stop about how evil this terrible, terrible man is.

    Oh, but if you’re talking to people who agree with you, maybe no one will pay attention to you and you’ll cease to exist.


  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let’s compare the tone, shall we? Doug on Representative Bachmann:

    There have been stories about oddities regarding the Bachmann campaign’s spending during the Presidential race for awhile now, particularly in Iowa. Whether they will amount to anything dependings on what the OCE investigation turns up.

    Doug on Senator Menendez:

    Menendez, of course hasn’t been charged with anything yet and is innocent unless and until proven guilty, but this cannot be a welcome development for the Senator as he tries to take on the Chairmanship of one of the Senate’s most important Committees.

  15. anjin-san says:

    Shorter Jenos

    “Meeeeeee. Please pay attention to meeeeeeee”

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Actually, I don’t care to be the center of attention. I’d much rather people focus on what I say, but so many seem obsessed with me personally.

    I blame my unearthly good looks, roguish charm, and sparkling wit. It overwhelms the content of my statements.

  17. mantis says:

    Doug, you really need to start tailoring your content to the has-been blogger who thinks he is Han Solo. One wonders why you have not recognized the need to disregard your own interests and preferences and produce the content he would like. After all, he’s paying you good money!