Bachmann's ex-chief of staff breaks silence in ethics probe

The man previously only known as "Witness A" will corroborate claims of improper payments

Published April 18, 2013 1:35PM (EDT)

                    (Jeff Malet,
(Jeff Malet,

Rep. Michele Bachmann's former chief of staff will tell an Iowa Senate ethics panel that the congresswoman made improper payments to the state chairman of her presidential campaign, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Kevin Diaz reports just one day after fresh ethics challenges stemming from her book tour surfaced.

Bachmann's former top aide, GOP operative Andy Parrish, has maintained silence in the ongoing ethics issues relating to his former boss -- until now. “The time has come to confirm that ‘Witness A’ is Andy Parrish, and he’ll be providing an affidavit with supporting material that completely supports the representations previously made by Peter Waldron,” his lawyer said.

Salon was the first to interview Waldron, another former top aide of Bachmann's in Iowa, after he went public with accusations that Bachmann failed to pay her campaign staffers, among other charges. Parrish is expected to speak about Waldron's claim that Bachmann's campaign paid Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, the campaign's Iowa chairman, in violation of the state Senate's ethics laws.

Sorenson and Bachmann have completely denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation in Iowa is one of at least three ongoing investigations into the congresswoman's presidential campaign. There is also a Federal Election Commission probe and one from the Office of Congressional Ethics. Authorities also reportedly opened a criminal investigation into the alleged theft of a email list by Sorenson from a campaign volunteer. As Diaz notes, "The investigations are part of a growing web of legal problems facing Bachmann."

By Alex Seitz-Wald

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Ethics Investigation Michele Bachmann