Lawyers for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and one of her campaign consultants said on Monday that their clients had done nothing wrong, despite news reports that the congresswoman may be under investigation for campaign finance violations.
Attorney William McGinley of Patton Boggs did, however, confirm that investigators from the Office of Congressional Ethics have been in contact with him.
“There are no allegations that the Congresswoman engaged in any wrongdoing,” McGinley said in a statement. “We are constructively engaged with the OCE and are confident that at the end of their Review the OCE Board will conclude that Congresswoman Bachmann did not do anything inappropriate.”
In a separate statement sent exclusively to Roll Call, Holland & Knight partner Chris DeLacy, who represents Bachmann consultant Guy Short and her leadership PAC, defended his clients.
“These unfounded allegations being made against Guy Short are coming from a disgruntled former political consultant and are without merit,” DeLacy said. “Mr. Short did not participate in, and is unaware of, any improper or illegal activities related to Congresswoman Bachmann, her leadership PAC, or her presidential campaign.”
The statements came after the Daily Beast reported on Monday that the OCE is interviewing former Bachmann staffers over alleged campaign finance misconduct. An OCE probe marks the first part of the process. The panel, made up of appointed officials, would decide whether to investigate further and refer the case to the Ethics Committee, which is comprised of members of Congress. A spokesman for the OCE declined to comment on the matter.
Bachmann’s finances came under scrutiny when Peter Waldron, a former aide to Bachmann, alleged in a Federal Election Commission complaint that Bachmann had used funds from her Congressional leadership PAC, MICHELE PAC, to pay for costs related to her failed 2012 presidential bid.
FEC disclosures from March show that MICHELE PAC paid $5,000 on February 13 to the law firm Holland & Knight where DeLacy leads the firm’s political law group.
Patton Boggs represents Bachmann, her House campaign and her presidential campaign. But when the FEC allegations surfaced, Bachmann’s MICHELE PAC retained separate counsel at Holland & Knight.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, right, and Annette Tilleman-Dick, left, wife for former Rep. Tom Lanots, D-Calif. Clinton was honored with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize during a ceremony last week at the Cannon House Office Building. Previous winners include the Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.