U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has released a statement in praise of Barb Heki, the former Iowa campaign staffer who sued her presidential campaign over the alleged theft and cover-up of a proprietary email list.
The statement, praising Heki’s “integrity,” was released exclusively to The Iowa Republican, a political Web site in Heki’s home state.
The lawyerly statement on behalf of the Bachmann campaign, coming in the aftermath of their out-of-court settlement Friday, suggests that it was part of a deal whose terms have not been publicly disclosed.
Bachmann’s congressional office and her attorneys have not responded to requests for comment from the Star Tribune and other mainstream media outlets.
Heki said Sunday she could not comment.
The Bachmann campaign’s silence on the deal means it is not publicly known if the Minnesota Republican had to pay a cash settlement to end the suit, which was filed in July, 2012. Heki, before she was quieted by what appears to be a non-disclosure agreement, had said she was blamed for the misappropriation of the email list, which belonged to the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE).
Bachmann’s statement appears designed to clear Heki’s name:
“Barb Heki is a trustworthy person and a woman of integrity. She was a loyal member of the Bachmann for President team and capably performed her duties. I am not aware of any evidence whatsoever that Barb had any part in misusing or misappropriating NICHE’s email list of homeschoolers and I consider her an exemplary homeschooling leader.”
Senate Republicans and their staff will be locked out of a Capitol parking ramp starting Saturday, the latest flash point between the GOP caucus and Senate Democrats who have traded jabs over the new Minnesota Senate Building.