Less than a week ago, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar announced she is up for re-election to represent Minnesota in the federal government.
Now, according to the New York Post, it looks like she’s up for being potentially investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly marrying her own brother as part of an immigration scheme.
She’s repeatedly denied the allegations, but they haven’t gone away.
If the re-election bid works out for her, she could be spending two more years in Congress.
If the FBI review turns into a criminal investigation, she could be spending up to five years in jail.
At issue is a marriage the Somali-born Omar entered into in 2009 with a British citizen identified as Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, according to the Post: And it’s that marriage that has attracted the attention of the FBI, the Department of Education, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Post reporting follows an article published by TheBlaze in mid-January that described how the FBI was working with the Department of Education to look into a claim that Omar’s marriage to Elmi was part of a plan to allow him to obtain a green card in the United States and potentially commit fraud related to higher education.
(Omar herself became a citizen in 2000 at the age of 17, according to The Associated Press.)
TheBlaze report, by David Steinberg — a writer who has spent years on this story — states that Omar enrolled at North Dakota State University in Fargo in 2009, shortly after the marriage. Her husband enrolled in the school a year later.
The married couple permanently separated in June 2011, about the same time Omar completed her degree at the school, Steinberg reported.
At the time she married Elmi in 2009, according to the Post, Omar was legally single, but had borne two children to Ahmed Hirsi, a man she’d married in a Muslim ceremony in 2002.
Throughout the period of her marriage to Elmi, according to Steinberg and the Post, the couple lived with Hirsi and the two children Omar and Hirsi had together.
Is any of this sounding suspicious?
Clearly, investigators at the federal level think it might — and the stakes are considerable.
As the Post reported: “If Omar did marry her brother, she could be found guilty of committing marriage fraud — a felony offense punishable with a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000.”
According to the Post, Omar did not respond to requests for comment on the latest story, published Sunday, but has publicly called the allegations “disgusting lies.” (She used exactly those words during her run for Congress in 2018 according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
After separating from Elmi, Omar had a third child with Hirsi, according to Post. As it turned out, however, she didn’t get around to getting a legal divorce from Elmi until 2017, which freed her up to marry Hirsi again — in a civil, legally binding ceremony this time.
That’s all complicated enough, but according to the Post and Steinberg’s reporting, Omar might have committed perjury in getting the divorce because she claimed he was in the United Kingdom and she had no contact with him. The truth might have been otherwise.
“In divorce papers asking to dissolve their marriage by alternate means in 2017, Omar swore under penalty of perjury that she had no way of contacting Elmi and said his last known location was London in June 2011,” the Post reported.
“But lease and eviction records and traffic violations reviewed by The Post suggest Elmi was in the US the whole time — living just 2.6 miles away from her at an apartment in downtown Minneapolis.”
As most of the political world knows by now, Omar’s marriage to Hirsi didn’t last – they broke up after she was accused of having an affair with a married political consultant who was paid buckets of money by Omar’s campaign. The accusation is in divorce papers filed by the consultant’s wife, as reported by the Post in August.
Hirsi remarried a little more than a month after the divorce was finalized.
Omar has not, though the Post reported she has been photographed on several occasions leaving the same Washington apartment as the consultant whose wife accused her.
Her love life though, troubled as it might be, could be the least of her worries.
And that re-election bid she announced last week might not be her biggest challenge in the coming year.
With the FBI and inspectors for Immigration and Customs Enforcement looking into her knotty, possibly criminal, domestic affairs, it’s not getting back into Congress Omar should be thinking about.
It’s staying out of jail.
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