It's a fair bet we will be seeing more of this kind of press conference from Michele Bachmann, using the Sgt.Schultz defense.
Kent Sorenson, pled guilty last week, August 27th, in a federal plea deal relating to bribery and falsifying campaign expenditures. If you don't know or care who Kent Sorenson is, he is a former Iowa state Senator, and he was paid for his endorsement, first of Michele Bachmann, and then Ron Paul.
He's the former Iowa campaign chair for Michele Bachmann's failed presidential run, the one where GOD told her he wanted her to be president.
Sorenson took money to support first Bachmann, and then Ron Paul.
From the Wa Po:
On Wednesday, Sorenson admitted in federal court what he had long adamantly denied: that he took thousands of dollars in payments from the campaigns of Bachmann and Paul in exchange for his endorsement.
The former state senator pleaded guilty to one count of causing a federal campaign committee to falsely report its expenditures and one count of obstruction of justice for giving false testimony to a state independent counsel investigating the payments.
Two sealed documents were filed in court as part of the case, a possible indication that Sorenson is cooperating with federal prosecutors as part of a broader investigation.
In Iowa, you can buy a Republican for upwards of $80,000.
Apparently, Sorenson is going to jail as part of his plea deal as well. I'm betting he's not the only one.
Since Sorenson pled guilty, the chair of the Ron Paul campaign in 2011/12, Ron Paul's granddaughter's husband Jesse Benton, has resigned as the campaign chair of the Mitch McConnell campaign for senate re-election, while continuing to deny any wrong-doing. His alleged 'bag man' was Dimitri Kesari, operating a company called Hyllus. No, not the funny vaguely u-shaped bone under you mouth, inside the lower jaw. HYLLUS. Dimitri Kesari went on to be part of Team Mitch McConnell as well. And it is a fair guess that he, like Benton, could very well be facing jail time too.
But what about Michele Bachmann?
Her defense so far of any potential wrong doing was the Hogan's Heroes character Sgt. Schultz's defense, "I KNOW NOTHING". So then the question will be -- did the mostly knows nothing about anything factual Bachmann REALLY NOT KNOW? Or, like Schultz, is she lying through her teeth --- and will Sorenson rat her out as part of his deal with the feds?
As noted by the Gazette's Des Moines Bureau:
Last October, Sorenson resigned his Senate District 13 seat in Madison and Warren counties just hours after a special prosecutor found probable cause that he violated Senate rules and may have committed the offense of felonious misconduct in office by “knowingly” making false statements to the Senate’s ethics panel.And from the Huff Po:
In his lengthy report, independent counsel Mark Weinhardt determined there was probable cause that the Milo Republican violated Senate rules by “accepting compensation” from entities associated with former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s campaign “in exchange for his service” during the past caucus season.
Andy Parrish Affidavit: Michele Bachmann 'Knew And Approved' Of Payments To Kent Sorensonand the Bachmann campaign denial, fro the same Huff Po article:
"Congresswoman Bachmann knew of and approved this arrangement,” Parrish said. “She, like the rest of us, understood from Senator Sorenson that it did not run afoul of any Iowa Senate ethics rules. We relied on his representations in this regard."
Parrish added that his affidavit is "not in any way a rebuke or betrayal to Congresswoman Bachmann," whom he considers a "personal friend."
The affidavit included emails from Guy Short, a fundraiser for Bachmann for President, who said Sorenson could be paid by a PAC, and an email from Parrish himself saying, "We're cool he can't get paid from a PAC."
Short also has attracted an Federal Election Commission inquiry because he was paid by MichelePAC while working for Bachmann's presidential campaign.
UPDATE: 5:30 p.m. -- William McGinley, Bachmann's campaign counsel, responded to the affidavit in a statement.And from the aptly named Iowa Republican, which shows how much SHE was paying Sorenson before Ron Paul upped the ante:
The way the media is portraying this story is wrong, reckless, and outrageous. The affidavit by a former employee in fact confirms that Congresswoman Bachmann followed all applicable laws and ethical rules and instructed those working for her to do the same. The alleged arrangement at issue was both lawful and properly reported under federal law. This dispute is between the Iowa Senate and an Iowa Senator: it has nothing whatsoever to do with Congresswoman Bachmann or her political committees. For anyone to suggest otherwise is both dishonest and reprehensible.
Fellow Bachmann staffer Peter Waldron alleges, in a complaint filed with the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee, that Sorenson violated Senate Rule 6 by accepting payments from a presidential campaign or PAC.
In the affidavit, Parrish states that he personally recruited Sorenson to work on the campaign. Parrish notes that Sorenson allegedly told him that he could not be paid by the campaign directly, so Bachmann’s campaign fundraiser Guy Short would pay him via his company, C&M Strategies, as a consultant.
Parrish also provided several emails. One of them, apparently sent from Parrish to Sorenson, states Short agreed to hire Sorenson at a rate of $7,000 per month, plus reimbursement for phone use and purchase of a laptop computer. Parrish says the monthly fee was raised to $7,500, without the phone reimbursement.
“Congresswoman Bachmann knew of and approved this arrangement,” Parrish writes in the sworn affidavit. “She, like the rest of us, understood from Senator Sorenson that it did not run afoul of any Iowa Senate ethics rules. We relied on his representations in this regard.”
If bimbo Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, utterer of so many odd and factually false things, doesn't take the fall, it is likely someone from her family, given the nepotism of her campaigns, WILL have to answer to the feds, and might have to face going to jail.
Would Bachmann sacrifice someone near and dear?
I think she would, those right wing values only go so far (apparently they include lying), and even right wing family values must have their limits. And if Bachmann throws one of her family under the bus....will they go willingly, or turn on HER? Both her husband and her son were key, top advisors/ top power players in her campaigns. They had, presumably, to be party to the payolla decisions, but would they go to jail for wife and/or mom? Because I do NOT envision Michele "I didn't get anything wrong" Bachmann taking responsibility for anything, EVER. I expect that if she can get out of jail by playing dumb, as opposed to BEING dumb, she will. But that could result in someone in her family being among those who take the heat for the bribery decisions. This is by no means a case where only the Rand Paul/Ron Paul family has kin in the game.
As noted almost a year ago, by the STrib, almost a year ago:
WASHINGTON – In the waning days of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign, her husband, Marcus Bachmann, allegedly wrote an e-mail describing his efforts to raise much-needed funds through an outside “super PAC.”As noted in the Daily Beast:
That e-mail is now in the hands of the U.S. Justice Department, which has subpoenaed records from the National Fiscal Conservative (NFC) Political Action Committee as part of a federal grand jury investigation into potentially illegal coordination between the PAC and Bachmann’s campaign.
The grand jury subpoena, first reported in the New York Times, represents a major escalation in the multiple federal and state inquiries that rose from alleged election law violations brought forward last January by campaign whistleblower Peter Waldron.
The grand jury subpoena, obtained by the Star Tribune, covers financial transactions involving an array of top Bachmann campaign officials, including her husband.
A copy of an e-mail purportedly written to Waldron by Marcus Bachmann describes a telephone conversation he had with PAC president Bill Hemrick to raise money for a mailing to evangelicals. Hemrick reportedly suggested that Bachmann contact GOP donor August Busch, who, according to the e-mail, agreed to give $7,000 “thru the NFC super pac.”
The e-mail ended: “Praise the Lord!!”
In his reply, Waldron warned that raising money through the super PAC could violate federal election laws that bar certain types of coordination between campaigns and outside political organizations.
And Ron Carey, a plugged-in Minnesota GOP veteran who briefly served as Bachmann’s chief of staff, has said Marcus and son Lucas were the congresswoman's main advisers on the full spectrum of issues. “The only person she talks to as an insider is her husband, Marcus, who's a wonderful man, and her son Lucas,” Carey told the Star-Tribune. (Carey has been critical of his former boss, telling the Associated Press in February that she was unelectable and even so would not “be ready for the position of the president of the United States.”)and from the Business Insider:
By most accounts, Dr. Bachmann’s campaign role is unique — he describes himself as his wife’s political “strategist” but also doubles as a personal assistant, press secretary, and confidante.
This HAS to up the stakes with the remarkably quiet but still open Congressional ethics inquiry into Bachmann. And we haven't heard from the DOJ for a while, investigating improper deals with her book, her PAC and her campaign.
Rep. Bachmann appears to have improperly used her presidential campaign resources to promote her memoir, and the Department of Justice is investigating whether the Bachmann campaign illegally coordinated advertising with a super PAC.I had a hunch last year when Bachmann announced she was not running again for Congress that something of this size and import was behind it, not the relatively piddly Heki stolen-home-school-list scandal. THIS could involve serious jail time for a lot of people, including Bachmann.