Reporting Pat Kessler
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann may be facing more legal trouble.
An investigation of the Republican’s presidential campaign has been forwarded to House Ethics Committee for possible violations, the StarTribune reports.
The committee has until July 28 to decide whether it will hear the case.
The Office of Congressional Ethics won’t confirm the Bachmann investigation, and her office won’t comment.
But it’s the latest in a string of bad stories for the Congresswoman, as there’s also allegations she took campaign staff on a personal book tour for her autobiography.
Those problems alone would be difficult for any politician.
“As the legal problems mount, they do become — they have become political problems,” University of Minnesota professor Kathryn Pearson said.
As Bachmann deals with the Congressional ethics inquiry, she’s also facing an FBI probe and a Federal Elections Commission investigation into her failed campaign.
She’s decided not to seek re-election in Minnesota, insisting in a YouTube video that her legal troubles have nothing to do with it.
“This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign, or my former presidential staff,” she said in the video.
Earlier this week, in an apparently unrelated event, Bachmann fired a top staffer after he was arrested by Capitol police for theft.
And her legal bills are mounting. FEC reports show she’s paid $185,000 so far to defend herself against charges she said are media-driven by her political enemies.
“I think the media pay more attention to these stories because she is Michele Bachmann,” Pearson said. “But on the other hand, I can’t think of another sitting member of Congress who faces so many different kinds of legal problems right now.”
Despite all the legal trouble, and the legal bills, Bachmann is still a fundraising juggernaut.
FEC records show Bachmann has almost paid off her $1 million presidential campaign debt, and has raised $815,000 more for her political committee from donors around the country.