An investigation by Minnesota’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board into Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) found she violated campaign finance laws dating back to when she served a single term in the State House of Representatives from 2016-2018.
But conservative Twitter quickly uncovered a more shocking detail in the report: she filed joint tax returns with a man she wasn’t married to. The report states that Omar filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Ahmed Hirsi, even though she was married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi from 2009-2017.
“One payment of $750 was made to De Leon & Nestor, LLC for obtaining immigration records and one payment of $1,500 was made to Frederick $ Rosen, Ltd. for services related to Mr. Hirsi’s and Rep. Omar’s filed joint tax returns of 2014 and 2015,” Thursday’s report states.
The Star Tribune, Minnesota’s most popular media outlet, picked up the story, but made no mention of the fact that Omar filed joint tax returns with Hirsi.
“Media has hid the truth about Ilhan Omar for three years. It’s about to ruin them all,” said PJ Media‘s David Steinberg, who explained the bombshell in a Twitter thread Thursday.
BREAKING — Important Ilhan Omar thread on just-released campaign finance investigation conclusions:
The report’s finding that @IlhanMN committed SIX campaign finance violations is, amazingly, not the report’s key takeaway.
— David Steinberg 🧔🏻 (@realDSteinberg) June 6, 2019
Michelle Malkin also took to Twitter to discuss the report.
“Things that make you go hmmm: read this closely and keep in mind that Ilhan Omar was legally married to Ahmed Elmi from 2009-2017 while also filing joint tax returns with Ahmed Hirsi in 2014 and 2015. Time to get federal IRS officials involved,” Malkin said.
Things that make you go hmmm: Read this closely and keep in mind that @ilhanmn was legally married to Ahmed Elmi from 2009-2017 while also filing joint tax returns with Ahmed Hirsi in 2014 and 2015. Time to get federal IRS officials involved… pic.twitter.com/QERg3PoBZD
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) June 6, 2019
As a result of the investigation, Omar must personally pay almost $3,500 to her political campaign and a $500 civil fine, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ruled. The nearly $3,500 fine totals the campaign funds Omar illegally spent in 2016 and 2017.
Minnesota began the investigation after Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) filed a complaint against Omar alleging she illegally used campaign money to pay the Kjellberg Law Office for divorce proceedings.
Drazkowski’s complaint said that the Omar committee’s 2016 year-end report did not include enough information to merit the Kjellberg Law Firm payment as a “noncampaign disbursement.”
Even though the Kjellberg Law Office represented Omar during her marital dissolution, the investigation found Omar hired the law firm as part of a “crisis committee” when online rumors spread she committed immigration fraud.
“Based on the analysis above,” the investigation’s report said, “the preponderance of the evidence indicates that the $2,250 paid to the Kjellberg Law Office was not payment for Rep. Omar’s marital dissolution.”
“The $2,250 payment was a reimbursement for two payments made by the Kjellberg Law Office. One payment of $750 was made to De Leon & Nestor, LLC for obtaining immigration records and one payment of $1,500 was made to Frederick & Rosen, Ltd. for services related to Mr. Hirsi’s and Rep. Omar’s filed joint tax returns of 2014 and 2015,” it explains.
The investigation found the reason for paying this law firm $2,250 did not explain “how they related to the committee” in its 2016 year-end report.
Also, the board found Omar’s committee improperly paid for her out-of-state travel to attend events in Boston, Estonia, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Florida.
In addition to paying fines, Omar must file a 2016 pre-general report detailing the amounts owed for immigration services, obtaining and reviewing the joint tax returns and detail the purpose of those expenses.
Omar issued a prepared statement after the board’s findings, The Star Tribune reported:
I’m glad this process is complete and that the Campaign Finance Board has come to a resolution on this matter. We have been collaborative in this process and are glad the report showed that none of the money was used for personal use, as was initially alleged.
In addition to complying with the Board’s findings, I plan on closing the account from my State House race and distributing the funds to organizations that help train first-time candidates to run for office—so that the next generation of candidates and their teams know how to adequately track and report campaign expenses. I also believe we need to dedicate more resources to our campaign finance agencies—and I look forward to supporting these efforts.
Read the full report:
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State News.