U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s problems with the House Ethics Committee are not going away anytime soon.
On Friday, the chair and ranking member of the committee, a Democrat and a Republican, announced that a review of her case will be extended another 45 days, meaning that the earliest a decision can be expected is on Sept. 11.
The Ethics Committee extension is routine, but it also signifies the first public acknowledgement by any federal entity of the multiple allegations of campaign finance or ethical improprieties by her 2012 presidential campaign.
The Bachmann case was referred to the committee on June 13 by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which has interviewed former Bachmann staffers about allegations of improper payments and the use of campaign staffers to promote her book, Core of Conviction.
Bachmann’s attorneys have denied any wrongdoing on her part. She has announced she will not seek re-election.
The ethics panel faced a Sunday deadline to dismiss the case or extend it for further review. Under House rules, the committee now faces a September deadline to drop the case or pursue it further, possibly leading to sanctions.
The panel has yet to disclose publicly the nature of the allegations under review. The campaign also is being investigated by the FBI and the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Meanwhile, officials in Iowa are investigating allegations of improper payments to state Sen. Kent Sorenson, Bachmann’s Iowa chairman. Urbandale police also continue to probe theft allegations involving a database in the custody of ex-Bachmann staffer Barb Heki, who recently settled a lawsuit against the Bachmann campaign.
As the investigations continue, Bachmann's legal bills continue to mount. Bachmann has racked up nearly $200,000 in legal expenses so far this year, according to her presidential, congressional, and leadership PAC reports to the FEC. That spending comes on top of $260,000 in billings to her principal law firm, Patton Boggs, in 2011 and 2012.
Star Tribune Recommends
More From Hot Dish Politics
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen welcomes his friend and housemate back, three months after Rep. Steve Scalise was gunned down at a congressional baseball practice.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar appeared on The Daily Show Tuesday night to talk about getting things done in Congress, lowering drug prices and the direction of the Democratic party.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar will appear on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" at 10 p.m. today. She'll be the second Minnesota politician in recent months to appear, after Rep. Ilhan Omar came on in July.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this week launched digital ads against U.S. Reps. Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen, and 23 other GOP lawmakers.