A complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Wednesday alleges freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) illegally used campaign money to help carry on an extramarital affair with a Democrat consultant whose firm she paid tens of thousands of dollars.
Federal campaign finance records show that Omar’s campaign has paid nearly $230,000 since 2018 to the E. Street Group, a political strategy firm of which the lawmaker’s alleged married lover, Tim Mynett, is a partner of. On Tuesday, Mynett’s wife, Dr. Beth Jordan Mynett, filed for divorce in a D.C.-area court, alleging her spouse confessed to having an affair with Omar in April, the same month FEC documents show that the lawmaker’s campaign began issuing payments to E. Street Group for “travel expenses.” According to FEC filings, the Minnesota Democrat’s campaign made eight payments totaling $21,547 to E. Street Group for travel costs between April and June. The divorce filings, first reported by the New York Post, also states Tim Mynett made a “shocking declaration of love” for the Minnesota Democrat to his wife and left her soon after.
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), the right-leaning non-profit group behind the complaint against Omar, alleges the timelines of the affair and travel payments overlap. As per FEC guidelines, lawmakers are forbidden from using campaign money for personal travel expenses unless the candidate pays the money back using their personal funds.
“If Ilhan for Congress reimbursed Mynett’s LLC for travel so that Rep. Omar would have the benefit of Mynett’s romantic companionship, the expenditures must be considered personal in nature,” NLPC’s complaint reads.
“Rep. Omar’s filings do not reveal subsequent reimbursements for Mynett’s travel,” the complaint added.
The complaint was first reported by the Daily Caller.
The development follows after a Daily Mail report stating Omar no longer lives with her husband, Ahmed Hirsi, who once worked as a senior policy advisor for her. The far-left “Squad” member has been dogged by allegations that she committed U.S. immigration fraud by marrying another man, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who is accused of being her brother. Omar has repeatedly denied the claim.
According to marriage records, Omar applied for a license in 2002 to marry Hirsi, who Omar says went by Ahmed Abdisalan Aden at the time. A marriage certificate was not issued and Omar has said they did not pursue a civil marriage but instead married in their Muslim faith tradition. Omar and Hirsi had two children but ended their relationship in 2008.
Omar then married Elmi, who she said is a British citizen, in 2009, according to a marriage certificate. Omar said that relationship ended in 2011 and the two divorced in their faith tradition, but Omar did not take legal action to divorce him until 2017. Divorce records say Omar and Hirsi reunited and had a third child together in June 2012. Omar legally married Hirsi in early 2018, a month after her divorce from Elmi was finalized.
In an interview with WCCO, Omar denied claims that she had an affair with Mynett and refused to address any aspect of her personal life.
“Are you separated from your husband? Are you dating somebody?” WCCO reporter Esme Murphy asked Omar.
“No, I am not,” she replied, before adding, “As I said yesterday, I have no interest in allowing the conversation about my personal life to continue and so I have no desire to discuss it.”
Wednesday’s complaint by the NLPC is not the first time Omar has found herself on the wrong side of campaign finance law.
Last year, a Republican state representative accused Omar of misusing campaign funds, alleging among other things that she used $2,250 in campaign money to pay a lawyer for her divorce proceedings. The campaign finance board investigated and found she didn’t use the funds to pay for a divorce lawyer as alleged, but other irregularities were found. The board’s final report said “there was an issue with her tax returns that needed to be corrected” and that some campaign funds went to an accounting firm.
State officials ruled earlier this year that Omar must repay her campaign committee nearly $3,500, including $1,500 for payments made to the accounting firm for services related to joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015. Omar had to pay a $500 penalty to the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.