Gilmore said Parrish would verify many of Waldron’s claims as they relate to Sorenson, but he wouldn’t say whether Parrish would tie Bachmann herself to the matter. As to Waldron’s other main complaints, that Bachmann’s political committees made inappropriate payments to one of her main consulting firms, Gilmore said, “To the extent any of those are reflected in the emails that are germane to what Peter Waldron has indicated ‘Witness A’ would verify, yes.”
Parrish was long part of Bachmann’s political and congressional operations, serving as her chief of staff and running several of her campaigns, including her successful run for the Iowa Straw Poll victory in 2011. Bachmann parted ways with Parrish in February 2012, and he went on to help run an unsuccessful campaign supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage in Minnesota. He has generally refused to speak publicly about Bachmann since leaving her staff.
But Gilmore said Parrish was coming forward now to discuss the campaign’s dealings with Sorenson because the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee could otherwise soon adjourn for the year without fully vetting the allegations against him. But Parrish “has no personal or professional animosity toward Congresswoman Bachmann whatsoever,” Gilmore said.
“He does have, he believes, an obligation to tell the truth,” he said. “There is no motivation other than wanting the true facts to come to light.”
Beyond the OCE and Iowa Senate investigations, the Bachmann campaign is the subject of a lawsuit from a former staffer who said Bachmann officials stole a list of contact information from her. The Urbandale, Iowa, Police Department is also investigating the matter.
The Star Tribune reported Wednesday that investigators are also looking into whether Bachmann staffers did improper work for a book tour she undertook during her presidential campaign.