Having maintained a public silence so far, Parrish referred questions Wednesday to his attorney, John Gilmore, who said his client will corroborate allegations from another former Bachmann aide, Peter Waldron.
Waldron, a Florida pastor, claims that the campaign hid payments to Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson, in violation of Iowa Senate ethics rules that bar members from receiving pay from presidential campaigns.
Until now, Parrish has been identified by the committee only as “Witness A,” Gilmore said.
“The time has come to confirm that ‘Witness A’ is Andy Parrish, and he’ll be providing an affidavit with supporting material that completely supports the representations previously made by Peter Waldron,” Gilmore said.
Sorenson has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, calling the ethics charges “totally baseless, without evidence, and a waste of Iowans’ time and money.” Lawyers for the Bachmann campaign also have denied the allegations.
Waldron’s accusations are also the subject of inquiries by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The investigations are part of a growing web of legal problems facing Bachmann, including a lawsuit by former staffer Barbara Heki alleging that Sorenson stole a proprietary e-mail list of Iowa home-school families from her personal computer. Those allegations also are the subject of an ongoing police investigation in Urbandale, Iowa.
Gilmore said Parrish can provide the ethics panel documentary evidence that Sorenson was paid $7,500 a month to work on Bachmann’s campaign, money that was funneled to him indirectly through C&M Strategies, a Colorado-based company controlled by Bachmann fundraiser Guy Short.
Among the sources of the funding, Waldron contends, was Bachmann’s independent political organization, MichelePAC, also headed by Short. Attorneys for Short have denied the allegations, which also are part of the FEC inquiry.