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Michele Bachmann withdraws Swiss citizenship

Bachmann says she asked the Swiss consulate in Chicago to withdraw her citizenship.

Rep. Michele Bachmann is giving up her Swiss citizenship.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann intends to withdraw her dual citizenship in Switzerland, she said in a statement.

Bachmann says she sent a letter to the Swiss consulate in Chicago asking for her citizenship to be withdrawn. She said she did so to make clear her loyalty to the United States.

“I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen,” she said in a statement. “I am, and always have been, 100 percent committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America. As the daughter of an Air Force veteran, stepdaughter of an Army veteran and sister of a Navy veteran, I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

Bachmann announced her dual Swiss citizenship earlier this week while talking to a Swiss television reporter. She later said she had automatically received citizenship under Swiss law when she married her husband, Marcus, in 1978. Marcus Bachmann is the son of Swiss immigrants. 

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Bachmann said she and her family recently updated their documents with the Swiss government, but that she “never exercised any rights of that citizenship.”

The third-term Republican from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District is seeking re-election to her House seat after waging a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination. She sits on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

Jim Graves, Bachmann’s DFL opponent in November, had issued a statement calling the issue a “distraction.”

“The Graves family is not interested in dual citizenship, and they are proud to be Americans,” his spokesman said in a statement. “Jim Graves is in the business of creating economic opportunity.”

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com