MN Investigating Ilhan Omar for Possibly Using Campaign Funds for Divorce, Travel

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn attends a Youth Climate Strike on March 15, 2019 on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Students around the world took to the streets on March 15 to protest a lack of climate awareness and demand that …
Tom Brenner/Getty Images; Edit: BNN

An investigation into whether Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) misused campaign funds for her personal use is slated to conclude, according to a report.

ABC local affiliate 13 WHAM-TV reported Monday that officials have recently concluded their probe and are will soon reveal the findings of two complaints against the controversial freshman congresswoman. The pair of complaints, which were reportedly filed as Omar campaigned for the House last year, were brought by State Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R). In his complaint to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, Drazkowski accused Omar of spending nearly $6,000 in campaign money on a trip to Boston and Estonia and for divorce attorney fees.

“Drazkowski’s filing of the two complaints followed an earlier episode in which Omar repaid $2,500 for honoraria she received for speeches at colleges that receive state funding, a violation of ethics rules for Minnesota lawmakers,” 13 WHAM-TV reports.
“I had observed a long pattern,” Drazkowski said in an interview with 13 WHAM-TV at his office. “Representative Omar hasn’t followed the law. She’s repeatedly trampled on the laws of the state in a variety of areas, and gotten by with it.”

Omar denies misusing the funds, claiming her payment to divorce attorney Carla Kjellberg was for providing crisis management services as she ran for the Minnesota State House, according to Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Elected to Congress in November 2018, Omar has quickly established herself as one of Washington’s most divisive lawmakers. The 37-year old Somalian, who immigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1995, has sparked bipartisan blowback for a series of antisemitic outbursts in which she accused pro-Israel lawmakers of dual allegiance and suggested the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bribes Republicans into supporting the Jewish state. The latter trope earner her rebuke from House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), who demanded she apologize for the “vile antisemitic slur.”

The slur also prompted Democrats to introduce a resolution condemning antisemitism and other bigotry, though the watered-down measure failed to specifically condemn Omar. Republicans generally joined in the favorable 407-23 vote, though nearly two dozen opposed the measure. Rep Lee Zeldin (R-NY), himself a Jew, called it a “sham.”

Earlier this year, Omar apologized for a 2012 tweet in which she said Israel had “hypnotized” the U.S. and committed “evil doings.”

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