The Michele Bachmann Campaign Probe, Explained
Last Friday, news broke that the FBI is investigating allegations that the 2012 presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) violated federal laws by not disclosing payments to an Iowa state senator, improperly coordinated with her PAC, and tried to silence whistleblowing staffers. Bachmann has responded by pointing out that the allegations, which first surfaced in January, don’t directly accuse her of any wrongdoing. Still, some political observers believe that the allegations could spell the end her congressional career when she faces off against the same Democrat she narrowly defeated in 2012.
How did this all begin? In January, Peter Waldron, Bachmann’s former national field coordinator, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission. Waldron, a Florida evangelist who did outreach work to Christian conservatives for Bachmann in Iowa, alleged that her campaign violated federal statutes in five separate incidents: