The House Ethics Committee's campaign finance investigation of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has reached its next phase.
Facing a Sept. 11 deadline to suspend, drop or extend its probe into Bachmann's 2012 presidential campaign, the committee announced Wednesday that it would continue its review.
"...there is substantial reason to believe that Representative Bachmann authorized, permitted, or failed to prevent, by not taking reasonable steps to ensure that her leadership PAC operated in compliance with federal campaign finance laws, the use of leadership PAC funds to compensate a campaign consultant for work he performed for her presidential campaign, resulting in a contribution from the leadership PAC to the presidential campaign in excess of the legal limit," the report read.
Minnesota Public Radio News reported back in July that among the allegations surrounding Bachmann were improper payments to consultants and use of campaign staff for a personal book tour. According to the St. Cloud Times, Bachmann maintained Wednesday that she was not involved in any transgressions.
“My campaign included experienced staff and advisers who, among other things, administered and managed the financial dealings of the campaign,” she said. “My directive to them was clear and unequivocal: to be sure that the campaign complied with all relevant laws.”
Below, a statement from the House Committee on Ethics regarding its decision:
Pursuant to Committee Rule 7(g), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined on September 11, 2013, to release the following statement:
On June 13, 2013, the Committee on Ethics received a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) regarding Representative Michele Bachmann. Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8) and Committee Rule 17A, the Chairman and Ranking Member jointly decided on July 26, 2013, to extend the Committee’s review of the matter. In order to gather additional information necessary to complete its review, the Committee will review the matter pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a). The Committee notes that the mere fact of conducting further review of a referral, and any mandatory disclosure of such further review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.
In order to comply with Committee on Ethics Rule 7 regarding confidentiality, out of fairness to all respondents, and to assure the integrity of its work, the Committee will refrain from making further public statements on this matter pending completion of its initial review.
Pursuant to Committee Rule 17A, the Committee on Ethics hereby publishes OCE’s Report and Findings relating to allegations against Representative Michele Bachmann and Representative Bachmann’s submission to the Committee.
For the full reports and the full response from Bachmann's camp, click here.