Kent Sorenson completed his testimony on behalf of the prosecution Monday in the trial of three staffers from former Congressman Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. The staffers are accused of using a third party to disguise payments to Sorenson in exchange for his endorsement of Paul.
Sorenson says he knew endorsing Ron Paul would be a “dagger” in the campaign of Paul’s political rival, former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Sorenson was the Iowa chair of Bachmann’s 2012 Presidential Campaign, but says he was unhappy with her national staff believing they were ignoring the advice of the Iowa staff.
"I was probably bigger in my own mind than I really was," he says.
The Paul campaign, Sorenson says, assured him that he would be taken care of financially and politically for his endorsement. He added that at times he felt bullied by defendant Demitri Kesari, Paul deputy campaign manager, into abandoning Bachmann for Paul.
In an effort to hide the fact that he collected a paycheck thanks to his new allegiance, Sorenson said “I lied a lot...I felt like I let my kids down, people who had supported me."
Sorenson’s testimony is part of a 2014 plea deal. He could spend up to 25 years in prison, but whether and for how long hinges on him providing "substantial help" to the prosecution.
The defense highlighted this fact. It also alleges that financial stress was the real motivator behind Sorenson ditching Bachmann, and spent time discussing the fact that a rental property of Sorenson's was foreclosed upon.
The defense also highlighted that Sorenson had lied under oath during a Senate ethics investigation which uncovered payments from the Paul and Bachmann campaigns. That investigation lead Sorenson to resign from the legislature.