The Minneapolis Star Tribune said in an editorial Wednesday that a state campaign finance board’s report on violations by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) contained a “troubling discovery” about her marriages that is “worthy of greater scrutiny.”
The editorial, “Ilhan Omar’s credibility takes another hit,” is noteworthy because the Star Tribune has often been criticized by conservatives for downplaying questions about Omar’s bizarre marital history.
The article is a response to findings by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board last week that Omar had broken state campaign finance rules by using campaign funds to pay for out-of-state travel that was unrelated to her state legislative duties, and to pay for legal work related to her personal tax returns.
Furthermore, as Breitbart News noted (original links):
The board’s report also noted that Omar and Ahmed Hirsi, her current husband, “filed joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015.” That could add fuel to persistent allegations that Omar had been married to two men at the same time — one of whom, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, City Journal noted in 2016, was rumored (though never proven) to be her brother.
Omar claimed previously that she had married Ahmed Hirsi (previously Ahmed Aden) in 2002 in an Islamic ceremony but never formalized the marriage legally. The two split in 2008 after having children together, and in 2009 she married Elmi. She reunited with Hirsi in 2011 but did not divorce Elmi until 2017.
The Star Tribune editorial board stated (original links):
In an October 2018 editorial, we called on Omar to more fully explain her travel and other expenses. We noted that the allegations “suggest a pattern of carelessness and/or self-dealing with legally restricted funds. Neither conclusion inspires the confidence voters deserve to have in someone they send to the U.S. House to represent them.”
It is even more disturbing, therefore, to learn that among the board’s latest findings was a troubling discovery that is far beyond its jurisdiction, but worthy of greater scrutiny nevertheless. Omar, for two years running, filed joint tax returns with a man she was living with but not legally married to. Complicating matters further, she was legally married to another man at the time.
It’s against the law in Minnesota to file jointly unless one filer is legally married to the other. Last year Omar told the Star Tribune that she had married her partner “in her faith,” and had earlier divorced her first husband “in her faith.” That’s fine for religious purposes. But for tax purposes, only civil marriages qualify. It’s not known whether she benefited materially by filing jointly. That is something that voters, who are obliged to follow tax laws no matter how painful, are entitled to know.
“[Ilhan Omar] is married to one guy legally and at the same time is filing joint tax returns with a different guy,” State Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-MN) told Breitbart News last week, commenting on the campaign finance board’s findings.
The Associated Press added that it had requested Omar’s tax returns, but that she had not responded — even though she has demanded that President Donald Trump release his tax returns.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.