The Department Of Justice has announced that former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson plead guilty on Wednesday to concealing payments he received from then Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in exchange for his support.
Sorenson’s plea deal claims that in 2011, he pulled his bid for Rep. Michelle Bachman after a secret meeting in which Paul’s campaign agreed to pay him $73,000 for his support. He was able to conceal the payments, which were were made in monthly installments of $8,000, by accepting the funds through a production agency’s account, then a secondary account, before they were finally transferred to an account owned by Sorenson and his spouse.
Leslie R. Caldwell, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said in a statement:
“An elected official admitted that he accepted under-the-table payments from a campaign committee to secure his support and services for a candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Campaign finance reports should be accurate and transparent, not tools for concealing campaign expenditures. Lying by public officials — whether intended to obstruct the FEC or federal investigators — violates the public trust and the law, and the Department of Justice does not tolerate it.”
Michelle Bachman was the first to reveal the potential bribery, saying back in 2011, “Kent Sorenson personally told me he was offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign. Kent said to me yesterday that ‘Everyone sells out in Iowa, why shouldn’t I?’ Then he told me he would stay with our campaign.” Clearly, he is not a man of his word.
This report comes as a huge blow to Ron Paul, who is heavily backed by Libertarians and Republicans alike, in hopes that he might run in the 2016 Presidential race. It is unlikely that another bid for the presidency is in Paul’s future with this stain on his reputation.
The coming months will reveal more about the political community’s reaction to Paul’s alleged bribery. We here at Mr. Conservative will be sure to keep you updated as more information becomes available in this controversial case.
H/T: The Washington Times