Former State Senator Kent Sorenson’s political career is over, but his legal problems may be deepening. Robert Wenzel reported today at the Economic Policy Journal blog that two sources have confirmed “the FBI was at Sorenson’s house for 7 hours” one day last week. “They took Sorenson’s computers and the school-related computers of Sorenson’s children. Notebooks and diaries were also taken.”
In order to evade Iowa Senate ethics rules, Sorenson is alleged to have received payments from third parties for work promoting presidential candidates Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul. (See volume one and volume two of the lengthy report by special investigator Mark Weinhardt.) Some of those payments may have violated federal campaign finance laws. Wenzel discussed some possible national political reverberations from the FBI investigation. Assuming his sources are correct, I suspect this case will be a powerful deterrent to any Iowa lawmaker tempted to seek money for a future political endorsement.
Hat tip to Democratic State Senator Steve Sodders.
UPDATE: Sorenson’s attorney said the search happened on November 20 and added,
“We were not notified that he was the target of any investigation,” attorney Theodore Sporer told the [Des Moines] Register. “They took computers and things that would be used to verify or validate communications with presidential entities.”
“It wasn’t a ‘raid,'” Sporer told the Register. “They executed a search warrant that, frankly, we anticipated was coming.”
SECOND UPDATE: Enjoyed the Iowa .Gif-t Shop’s take on this story.