Bachmann: Nothing will come of ethics inquiry

10:20 PM, Jul 30, 2013   |    comments
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Rep. Michele Bachmann

ST. PAUL, Minn. - U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann says she doesn't think anything will come of a House Ethics Committee inquiry into her presidential campaign.

Bachmann spoke to reporters Tuesday at Minnesota's Capitol after meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton on a proposal to widen Interstate 94 between Minneapolis and St. Cloud. The Ethics Committee revealed last week it's extending a review of Bachmann's case until at least September.

When asked by members of the Minnesota Capitol Press Corps Tuesday whether she's concerned about the official inquiry, Bachmann replied, "Oh, absolutely not."

She went on to suggest the complaint was politically motivated by those hoping to unseat her in Minnesota, before she announced she wouldn't seek a fifth term.

"I have complete confidence that really was the basis of a 2014 campaign, in my opinion.  And I don't think anything is going to come of it."

Bachmann has denied wrongdoing but announced in May she wouldn't seek re-election. She suggested Tuesday the investigation was tied to 2014 politics, but didn't elaborate.

The committee hasn't disclosed allegations against Bachmann. Her former chief of staff in Iowa, Andy Parrish, submitted affidavits to an Iowa State Senate ethics panel saying that the Iowa campaign chair was paid for his work on behalf of Bachmann.

Parrish also submitted copies of email exchanges suggested that Iowa Senator Kent Sorenson was paid from a different pool of political donations managed by Bachmann's former aide Guy Short.  Parrish maintains that Bachmann was told it was all in compliance with campaign finance laws.

Sorenson, who eventually switched to the Ron Paul campaign,  initially denied being paid by Bachmann, and is still the still the subject of an Iowa Senate ethics probe.

Bachmann's team was also accused in Iowa of stealing a private email list of home-school supporters.

Bachmann subsequently settled out of court with Barb Heki, the campaign volunteer who complained to Urbandale, Iowa police that staff members had taken the mailing list from her computer without her consent.

When asked about the mailing list issue as she departed the State Capitol Tuesday, Bachmann said, "That's been resolved."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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