When tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced Tuesday night she would not seek another term in the U.S. House, she said in an online video that her decision "was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign." Her spokesman, Dan Kotman, echoed the sentiment when reached by Whispers Wednesday.
A plethora of agencies are currently looking into possible misconduct by Bachmann's 2012 presidential campaign, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Election Commission, Office of Congressional Ethics and the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee.
Peter Waldron, the former Bachmann aide whose complaint to the FEC reportedly launched the FBI and OCE investigations, told Whispers Wednesday he believes those probes are about to come to a head. His complaint included five possible violations by Bachmann staffers, including allegations she used money from her political action committee to pay a staffer for presidential campaign work. The FBI and OCE declined to comment on its ongoing investigations, as did the FEC.
"Investigators interviewed me at least a dozen times. I don't know the final results of the investigation, but a report was recently compiled," says Waldron, who organized faith-based coalitions for Bachmann's presidential campaign in Iowa in 2011. "I know only the parts [of the report] to which I contributed, but the width and breadth of the investigations has gone beyond initial the FEC complaint I filed in January."
Waldron also said federal investigators had interviewed former Bachmann staffers across the country about the potential violations, something the Daily Beast reported in March.