According to a piece from Salon.com, a special investigator will soon be appointed by the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court to look into the ethics violations allegedly committed by Michele Bachmann.
Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen agrees that the charges are serious. “It’s not Watergate, or at least not yet,” he said. “But these are a series of allegations that are each serious on their own, and when you put them all together, this could be a career ender for Michele Bachmann.”
There are least three different investigations focusing on a range of allegations stemming from Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign, including charges that she improperly used campaign funds to promote her book, money laundering, and even one that accuses one of her staffers of stealing an email list from a home-school organization.
In a recent development that deepened Bachman’s troubles, two former staffers, one who was her former chief of staff, have agreed to testify against her. Holman said this is “very unusual” and will likely escalate the urgency of the investigation.
According to Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon, the consequences for Bachmann, even if no ethics charges are filed, would likely affect her campaign next year when she faces off against Democrat Jim Graves, whom she narrowly beat in 2012.
Bachmann will undoubtedly have a core group of supporters that will stand by her, but others may not. According to Professor Larry Jacobs of Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at University of Minnesota, “These charges are particularly damaging because they cut to the core of her greatest strength among her followers, which is her authenticity. This cloud of questions has now enveloped her in the ‘usual politics’ label and what I’ve heard from her supporters — and this is obviously not a scientific sample — is, ‘she’s just like the rest of them.’”