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Policy: Law

Former Michele Bachmann campaign staffer pleads guilty

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Politics,Congress,Crime,Iowa,Campaign Finance,Campaigns,PennAve,Kelly Cohen,Law,Michele Bachmann

One of Michele Bachmann's former top campaign staffers pleaded guilty Wednesday to concealing money he received from the presidential campaign of former Rep. Ron Paul.

Kent Sorenson, who managed Bachmann's presidential campaign in Iowa, pleaded guilty to one count of causing a federal campaign committee to falsely report its expenditures and one count of obstruction of justice.

Sorenson openly supported Bachmann's bid for president in 2012, but from October to December 2011, he "met and secretly negotiated with a second political campaign to switch his support to that second campaign in exchange for concealed payments that amounted to $73,000,” according to a Department of Justice release.

The money was paid in monthly installments, each worth $8,000 and funneled through two different companies before eventually reaching Sorenson and his wife.

On Dec. 28, 2011, days before the 2012 Iowa Caucus, Sorenson publicly announced he had switched his support from Bachmann to Paul. Facing criticism, Sorenson repeatedly told the media he wasn't receiving any money from Paul's campaign.

Seven days later, Bachmann suspended her campaign after she placed sixth in the Iowa caucus with just five percent of the vote. Paul came in third place with 21.5 percent.

No sentencing date has been set for Sorenson, who served in the Iowa state Senate from 2010 to 2013.

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Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner

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