Bachmann Campaign Allegations Attract Attention of FBI
The FBI has contacted two former staffers of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign, adding to the swirl of federal and state investigations looking into alleged financial improprieties by top officials in the campaign.
The former campaign aides with direct knowledge of the investigation have confirmed the FBI inquiries. Both spoke to the Star Tribune on condition of anonymity.
St. Paul attorney John Gilmore, who represents former Bachmann chief of staff Andy Parrish, also confirmed that his client is among those being interviewed by the FBI as a witness. “Andy Parrish has been contacted by the FBI for purposes of an interview,” Gilmore said. “That has been set up for next week and Mr. Parrish will cooperate fully.”
Veteran election lawyers say an FBI inquiry would be unusual in a typical campaign finance case. But the controversies surrounding the Bachmann campaign have been anything but typical, with ex-staffers turning on one another and providing dueling affidavits on a range of legal and ethical questions.
One source familiar with the FBI inquiry said an agent from the bureau’s public integrity section expressed interest in campaign finance allegations contained in a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint brought by whistleblower Peter Waldron, a Florida pastor who worked on the Bachmann presidential campaign in Iowa.