Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has continued to shovel campaign cash at a man with whom she is alleged to have had an affair, according to a New York Post report citing federal records.
Over the past three months, Omar has paid $146,712.63 to the E Street Group, run by Tim Mynett, to whom she earlier paid $223,000, according to Federal Election Commission data. The latest payments were for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and video production.
The filing said she was seeking a divorce because in early April, Mynett told his wife he was “romantically involved with and in love with another woman, Ilhan Omar.”
Mynett and Omar denied the allegations. Omar has divorced her former husband, Ahmed Hirsi.
The FEC, which has already received one complaint about Omar’s past payments, is unable to investigate because its rules require four votes to compel action, and it currently has only three of its six commissioner slots filled, the Post reported.
FEC spokesman Christian Hilland said the Senate needs to confirm the FEC’s fourth member so it can act.
“We are willing to accept reports but we are not able to move forward with any investigatory matters,” he said, according to the Post.
One watchdog said the lack of action is a serious issue.
“This is something every American should be very concerned about,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen, told the Post.
“We have no election cop on the beat. The Federal Election Commission essentially closed its doors so everyone knows they can pretty much do whatever they want to do and that’s the status of our political system today,” he said.
Holman said of the payments from Omar to Mynett, “It doesn’t surprise me at all.”
The complaint against Omar already pending at the FEC was filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group.
“This arrangement where Ilhan is paying her lover consulting fees could be illegal if he’s not doing the work,” National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Peter Flaherty said at the time his group filed its complaint, the Post reported.
“Although Mynett’s formal relationship with Rep. Omar’s campaign began in July 2018, with the payment of $7,000 directly to Mynett, the reimbursements for Mynett’s travel did not commence until April 2019, the same month that Dr. Mynett alleges in her filing that her husband told her of the affair, and made a ‘shocking declaration of love’ for Rep. Omar,” the complaint said.
The complaint said it appeared that “Mynett’s travel as reported by Ilhan for Congress may have been unrelated, or only partially related, to Omar’s campaign,” adding that campaign funds are not supposed to be spent on “romantic companionship.”
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