The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee handling an ethics complaint against the state chairman of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign agreed Wednesday to give a confidential Minnesota informant in the case 10 days to step forward with information in the case.
The six-member panel – made up of three Republicans and three Democrats – wants to hear from a former Bachmann campaign staffer identified only as “Witness A,” who can reportedly corroborate allegations that the campaign hid payments to Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson.
Sorenson has denied the allegations, which also are being investigated by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and, indirectly, the Office of Congressional Ethics. Sorenson rocked the Bachmann campaign in the waning days of the Iowa caucuses when he left to join the campaign of rival Ron Paul.
Iowa Senate rules prohibit members from working on a presidential campaign for pay. The allegations have been brought forward by former Bachmann aide Peter Waldron, a Florida pastor who claims Sorenson was paid through a company controlled by campaign fundraiser Guy Short.
Waldron has told the ethics committee that the informant is prepared to come forward publicly.
St. Paul attorney John Gilmore told TheIowaRepublican Tuesday that he represents the informant, who he termed “extremely well-known to the Bachmann world.”
Iowa Sen. Wally Horn, a Democrat who chairs the ethics committee, told the Star Tribune Wednesday that the committee needs a publicly sworn affidavit from “Witness A” or it will dismiss the complaint.
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