WASHINGTON • The House Ethics Committee is launching a full-tilt investigation of Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
The committee announced on Friday it had received a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative body, and said in a brief statement that it would formally investigate the one-time Republican presidential candidate.
A lawyer for Bachmann had previously acknowledged the investigation by the OCE and said that Bachmann was cooperating. That probe is focused in part on her short-lived presidential bid.
Bachmann, a leader in the tea party movement, announced earlier this year she would not seek re-election.
The committee says it also intends to extend an investigation into possible ethics violations by Democrat John Tierney of Massachusetts.
The panel does not identify the reasons for the investigation and notes that the extension does not in itself indicate that any violation has occurred. It says the committee received a referral on the matter last month from the Office of Congressional Ethics, and will announce its next course of action on or before Sept. 11.
During the election campaign last year Tierney was beset by a gambling scandal involving his wife and two brothers-in-law.