Report: Bachmann in talks to settle lawsuit over Iowa email list

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is in talks to settle a lawsuit regarding allegations members of her 2012 presidential campaign team stole an email list from an Iowa campaign staffer, according to a report.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Wednesday reported that Bachmann went to Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday to meet with attorneys for the Iowa staffer, Barb Heki. Heki is accusing Bachmann's campaign staffers of stealing the email list of homeschool families. 

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Bachmann's campaign has previously denied the theft claims, saying that obtaining and using the email list was "inadvertent." Campaign officials eventually agreed to rent the list from the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) for $2,000 during Bachmann’s bid to win the Iowa caucuses.

Heki, though, alleges that the list was initially taken without her consent, and that she was subsequently pushed off of the NICHE board after she was blamed for the list’s misuse.

Attorneys from both sides refused to comment to the Star-Tribune. Heki has criticized Bachmann for not publicly addressing the case. 

Bachmann suspended her presidential campaign in early 2012. Although she won the Ames Straw Poll, she finished with less than 5 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses.

The Office of Congressional Ethics is also investigating Bachmann in a separate inquiry over allegations that her campaign improperly used PAC funds to pay staff on her presidential campaign. 

A former campaign aide, Peter Waldron, made the allegations and has said that one-time Bachmann backer Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson was also paid for his campaign help, in violation of state ethics laws. Bachmann’s attorneys have denied those claims.

Sorenson has also been implicated by Heki with aiding the theft of the homeschool list, but has denied those allegations.