House Ethics Committee Continues Investigation of Michele Bachmann

By James Q. Lynch, Reporter

Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann answers questions from children at Noelridge Park Church in Cedar Rapids Wednesday, December 22, 2011, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (file photo)

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By Richard Pratt

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A congressional committee is extending its investigation into allegations of improper transfer of campaign funds by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign.

The investigation presumably includes allegations of improper payments to an Iowa legislator who was part of her campaign in the first-in-the-nation state prior to the 2012 precinct caucuses.

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it is continuing its investigation into potential ethics violations by Bachmann, a Republican, and three other U.S. House members. The committee also said it will announce its course of action in early September, adding that the extension is not of an ethics violation.

Bachmann’s attorney called the committee’s extension customary and does not “indicate that any violation has occurred or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee.”

Bachmann’s attorney said she is cooperating with the investigation and the committee will find she did nothing improper.

Meanwhile, a special investigator has been appointed by the Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice at the request of the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee to investigate a complaint brought against Sen. Kent Sorenson, R-Milo, to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a violation of a state statute or the Senate Code of Ethics has occurred.

The allegation is that Sorenson allegedly violated rules barring senators from being paid directly or indirectly by a political campaign – specifically whether Sorenson received payments while he worked for Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign for president in Iowa.

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