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Affidavit: Bachmann approved payments to Iowa senator

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Rep. Michele Bachmann reacts to health care ruling
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., seen here in a June 2012 file photo. A former top aide to Bachmann says she was aware of payments made to an Iowa legislator during her presidential campaign.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A former top aide to Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she was aware of payments made to an Iowa legislator during her presidential campaign. 

In an affidavit released online,  Bachmann's former chief of staff Andy Parrish says the congresswoman approved the payments to Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, who managed Bachmann's campaign in that state.

Along with the affidavit, Parrish released emails that purport to show that the campaign decided to pay Sorenson through a separate political action committee controlled by Bachmann because Iowa Senate ethics rules prohibit senators from getting paid by campaigns.

Parrish's affidavit relates to an Iowa Senate ethics probe into Sorenson -- but congressional ethics investigators are also looking into Bachmann's presidential campaign.

Bachmann's lawyers say she didn't break any rules.

An emailed statement from William McGinley, attorney for Bachmann, read, "The way the media is portraying this story is wrong, reckless, and outrageous.  The affidavit by a former employee in fact confirms that Congresswoman Bachmann followed all applicable laws and ethical rules and instructed those working for her to do the same.  The alleged arrangement at issue was both lawful and properly reported under federal law.  This dispute is between the Iowa Senate and an Iowa Senator: it has nothing whatsoever to do with Congresswoman Bachmann or her political committees.  For anyone to suggest otherwise is both dishonest and reprehensible."  

Parrish was later fired by Bachmann, but says he still considers her to be a friend and supports her re-election.