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Bachmann’s Former Aide Pleads Not Guilty; Hearing Set for August

Javier Sanchez, the senior legislative aide for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who was arrested on July 11 on charges of theft, has pleaded not guilty in D.C. Superior Court and is scheduled to be in court for his misdemeanor initial status hearing on Aug. 26.

Sanchez was nabbed by Capitol Police last week as part of an investigation into a string of burglaries in congressional office buildings, including the theft of memorabilia and other items from the Rayburn Building offices of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., and then-Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif. However, the “theft II” charge against Sanchez involves the theft of cash from Bachmann’s office, and he has not been charged with any offenses related to the other burglaries. A “theft II” charge indicates that the amount taken was less than $1,000.

“We are still investigating,” said Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, the Capitol Police’s public information officer.

“The cases … are still open,” he added.

It remains unclear whether there are any other suspects, since Sanchez has not been charged with the other thefts at this time, or whether he might be charged with any other offenses related to the Capitol Police’s investigation.

Last year, Capitol Police released statistics that showed the number of burglaries from late August to late September on the Capitol campus largely fit the pattern of previous years.

The department’s figures state that, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 24 of 2012, four thefts were reported. Three “theft II” burglaries occurred in the Rayburn Building, including those in the offices belonging to Gallegly and McIntyre at the time. Another theft, this one in the “theft I” category, happened in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Sanchez appeared in D.C. Superior Court on July 12 and pleaded not guilty. He is represented by attorney David B. Benowitz. He was released on his own personal recognizance but will need to keep in contact with pretrial services.

Asked for comment on the case, Bachmann’s office said that, as of July 12, Sanchez “is no longer with the office. Any further questions should be directed to Capitol Police.”

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