FBI reportedly investigating Michele Bachmann for potential criminal violations

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There are so many scandals connected with Bachmann's presidential campaign that at this point we need an Excel spreadsheet to keep them straight. 
The Iowa Senate has been scrutinizing alleged violations of state ethics rules that occurred during the course of Michele Bachmann's ill-fated presidential campaign. But that's child's play compared to an FBI probe.

A SEPARATE SCANDAL: Bachmann's book tour to promote moribund autobiography has her in fresh trouble with feds

According to numerous reports, the news has gone from bad to worse for Bachmann, as her campaign is now being investigated by the FBI for potential criminal violations.

In April, former Bachmann Chief of Staff Andy Parrish testified that his former boss personally approved payments to Iowa state Sen. Ken Sorenson, but Parrish said she didn't necessarily realize they violated Iowa Senate ethics rules at the time. The FBI is reportedly looking into that fiasco and a separate one involving the alleged theft by Sorenson of a private email list that was then used for campaign purposes, among other possible areas of investigation.

Parrish's lawyer, John Gilmore, told MinnPost last week, "I can confirm that Andy Parrish has been contacted by the FBI for a scheduled interview next week. He will cooperate fully."

The exact scope and focus of the FBI's investigation isn't clear at this point, but the Star Tribune details another controversy that may be of interest to investigators:
[Former Bachmann National Field Coordinator Peter Waldron recently alleged there were] improper payments from Bachmann's independent political organization, MichelePAC, to longtime Bachmann aide Guy Short, then serving as the campaign's national political director...

[Waldron alleges that] Short's company received $40,000 from Bachmann's PAC in the final two months of the Iowa caucus contest, a time when he was working full time on her presidential campaign. That could be a potential violation of campaign finance laws that bar federal candidates from using their PACs to coordinate with or subsidize their campaigns...

Waldron and other former Bachmann campaign insiders argue that Short would have been misrepresenting the PAC expenditures to the FEC if he were, in fact, being compensated to work for the campaign. They also question how the payments to Short were authorized at a time when they and others on the campaign were being asked to work without pay.
As the Strib passage alludes to, the FBI follows the FEC as the second federal agency to recently launch an investigation into alleged wrongdoing perpetrated by Bachmann's presidential campaign.

Last week, Bachmann suggested that revelations the IRS improperly targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny during the last election cycle could lead to President Obama's impeachment. But it's now clearer than ever she threw that stone from a glass house.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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12 comments
McLain Causey
McLain Causey

Calling her a bitch isn't exactly making your argument from a position of strength.

meesh427
meesh427

Hasn't she left the state for good yet?  She is so worried that MN is going to be destroyed now that gay marriage is legal?  Leave already!!

GeekAaron
GeekAaron

Am I the only one who thinks that with the FBI secretly gathering AP records and the issues with the IRS, that the FBI looking into Michele Bachmann is only going to rile up the far-right conservatives even more?

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@GeekAaron That crowd is self-riling.  The interesting thing is, all of these stories are old news.  I'm interested in why all these issues have popped up at the same time, and why now.  I've heard that the IRS announced they were starting a joint venture with the tax authorities in the UK and Australia to crack down on tax evasion by high-net-worth individuals and groups, and the stuff about the IRS and the Tea Party groups hit the fan the next day.  Since I've heard the Tea Party groups talking about IRS scrutiny for several years and it never went anywhere, I wonder what the catalyst really was.  Heck, even more mainstream Republicans were asking the IRS to look into the Tea Party groups, calling them unethical money-laundering boiler room operations.

There's nothing new about government spying on journalists in the name of "National Security."  It's never been legitimate, but it's sure been going on for a long, long time.  And we all knew the Rep. Bachmann circus had enough shady stuff going on somebody in law enforcement should have been poking around years ago.

Why all the orchestrated outrage, and why at this point in time?  There's more to this.

green23
green23 topcommenter

@swmnguy @GeekAaron  My guess is that the rise in the crazy index is due to the upcoming midterms. Conservatives really believe that "the crazy" is what caused their gains in 2010. The truth is, those gains occurred in spite of the craziness, not because of it. 

2010 was about Independent voters breaking Republican nearly 3 to 1, not about some overwhelming Republican base turnout. Independent voters overlooked all of the craziness, because they mistakenly believed that Republicans would set that all aside once they got elected, and focus on jobs. We know how that worked out, and so do those Independent voters. 

Polling has shown that the Republican base believes that their base is about 67% of the electorate, when it's not really even half of that. So, when you believe that, the only reason for losing is that your base doesn't turn out to vote. And, of course, it's 'obvious' that this imaginary base doesn't vote because the Republicans aren't conservative enough

The other reason is that the Party is fractured. The only uniting narrative between the disparate groups that form the Party base is a shared, visceral hatred of Obama. Without a constant stream of outrage to focus on, their base will turn upon itself.

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