Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is facing financial penalties for campaign finance violations following a Thursday ruling from the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
The board found that Omar violated campaign finance rules as a state representative and must reimburse her campaign just under $3,500 as well as pay a $500 fine, the Minnesota Star Tribune reports.
Among the illegal payments Omar made with campaign funds in 2016 and 2017 include a $1,500 disbursement to a law firm related to corrections made to her personal tax returns which were found out as part of an inquiry into her financial records by a “crisis committee,” the report details. The reason that crisis committee was formed in the first place was in response to allegations that Omar married her brother as part of an immigration fraud scheme.
The rest of the illegal campaign fund uses were to cover travel expenses; including trips to Boston, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago, and newspaper ads.
A recent op-ed from conservative commentator Michelle Malkin explains that “investigations dating back to 2016 by blogger Scott Johnson of Power Line (which recently celebrated 15 years in the blogosphere), David North of the Center for Immigration Studies, Alpha News reporter Preya Samsundar and PJMedia.com reporter David Steinberg have determined that the outspoken Somalian Muslim refugee likely married her own brother named Ahmed Elmi in 2009 for some unknown ill-gotten gain while still informally married to the man she calls her husband and father of her three children, Ahmed Hirsi.”
Johnson’s 2016 report contains an extensive exposition of public records related to Omar’s family and marriage status.
Omar has previously called the immigration fraud allegations “disgusting lies.” In 2018, Omar’s team dismissed the allegations as racist and politically motivated.
“There are people who do not want an East African, Muslim woman elected to office and who will follow Donald Trump’s playbook to prevent it,” the team reportedly said in response to Johnson. “Ilhan Omar’s campaign sees your superfluous contentions as one more in a series of attempts to discredit her candidacy.”
Despite concerns that Omar may have illegally used campaign funds to help directly pay for her 2017 divorce from Elmi, the Star Tribune reports, the Minnesota board’s investigation did not find evidence of this.