The FBI has contacted former staffers from U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's ill-fated 2012 presidential campaign, both the Star Tribune and MinnPost report.
The FBI joins the Office of Congressional Ethics, the Federal Elections Commission and an Iowa state Senate ethics committee in probing whether Bachmann's presidential campaign illegally paid an Iowa state senator. Accusations and allegations related to the congresswoman's presidential bid are now being investigated at federal and state levels.
According to MinnPost, which had the scoop Friday, Andy Parrish, former Bachmann chief of staff and one of the directors of Bachmann's Iowa GOP presidential campaign, will be interviewed by the FBI, according to his attorney, John Gilmore.
Parrish has filed an affidavit with the Iowa ethics committee stating that state Sen. Kent Sorenson was paid for his work on the Bachmann presidential campaign through a fundraising firm that had ties to MichelePAC.
The Star Tribune says an agent from the bureau’s public integrity section expressed interest in campaign finance allegations contained in an FEC complaint brought by Peter Waldron, a Florida pastor who worked on the Bachmann campaign in Iowa.
The paper also chronicles pieces of the multiple investigations to date, before quoting a government watchdog/transparency advocate: “Whatever there is, it’s of interest to a number of investigative agencies."
Bachmann campaign attorney William McGinley released a statement expressing skepticism about the FBI’s interest, according to the Strib.
“We have not been contacted by the FBI and have no reason to believe that they are conducting an investigation,” he said. “As we have stated from the beginning, none of the allegations involve Representative Bachmann.”