Bachmann Campaign Finance Probe Referred To House Ethics Committee

AP

A congressional probe into Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) campaign finances has been referred to the House Ethics Committee, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Wednesday.

An Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) report issued Tuesday did not name Bachmann but said all seven cases before it had been referred to the committee, according to the Star-Tribune. The Bachmann case had reportedly been one of those under investigation by the office. It focused on whistleblower allegations of campaign finance violations and accusations that she used campaign staff to help promote her 2011 book “Core of Conviction.”

An attorney for the Bachmann campaign dismissed the OCE report.

“Today’s OCE disclosure not only is factually inaccurate, but is a shameful publicity stunt that undermines the confidentiality provisions designed to protect members of Congress from undue prejudice,” William McGinley, a Washington lawyer for Bachmann, told the Star-Tribune. “We are grateful that this matter is finally in the hands of the fair-minded and capable professionals at the House Committee on Ethics who we are confident will dismiss all allegations in this matter.”

Since Bachmann will be leaving the House at the conclusion of her fourth term in office, it’s unclear what action the House Ethics Committee will pursue. 

On Wednesday afternoon, OCE spokeswoman Kelly Brewington told TPM that the office stood by the report and that it “in no way deviates from any other quarterly report” put out by the office.

Clarification: This post has been updated to clarify that the OCE report did not mention Bachmann by name.

Update: This post has been updated to include comments by Brewington.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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