Judicial Watch seeks House ethics probe of Ilhan Omar’s marital history

October 7, 2019 by Ben Marquis

There has been plenty of speculation — backed up with supporting evidence — that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) may have married her own brother as part of an alleged scheme to defraud federal and state governments for immigration, tax, and other purposes.

The allegations were compiled and summarized in an official complaint, which was hand-delivered to the chairman of the House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics by government watchdog group Judicial Watch — a move which has taken on new significance in light of Omar’s just-filed petition for divorce from husband Ahmed Hirsi.

Ethics complaint filed

A press release from Judicial Watch in July noted that the complaint had been directly delivered to OCE Chairman David Skaggs and called for “a full investigation into potential crimes tied to allegations that Rep. Ilhan Omar may have married her biological brother.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement at the time, “The evidence is overwhelming Rep. Omar may have violated the law and House rules. The House of Representatives must urgently investigate and resolve the serious allegations of wrongdoing by Rep. Omar.”

The complaint itself noted that there was “[s]ubstantial, compelling and, to date, unrefuted evidence” which strongly indicated that Omar had potentially committed a number of crimes that would violate both federal and state laws, such as “perjury, immigration fraud, marriage fraud, state and federal tax fraud, and federal student loan fraud.”

Of course, any one of those alleged crimes would also be in violation of the Code of Ethics for Government Service that applies to all federal officeholders, as well as the House-specific Code of Conduct which requires members of Congress to always conduct themselves in a manner that “shall reflect creditably” on the House of Representatives itself.

Allegations of marriage fraud

The press release cited voluminous reporting from a years-long investigation conducted by intrepid journalists into Omar’s familial and marital history, an investigation that relied upon “public records, social media postings, genealogy databases, computer forensic analysis, unaltered digital photographs,” interviews with some of the subjects of the probe and information supplied by confidential informants within the Somali-American community of which Omar is a part.

Essentially, Omar is alleged to have married a man named Ahmed Elmi in 2009, only to split up a few years later and ultimately divorce in 2017, The Washington Examiner reports. Elmi, who lived in the United Kingdom, is purported to actually be Omar’s brother, and the marriage was alleged to have been a ruse to skirt immigration laws and help him obtain federally-backed student loans for higher education.

Both Omar and Elmi attended North Dakota State University at the same time that they were married. On top of the alleged immigration and marriage fraud, Omar may also have committed tax fraud, according to the Associated Press. She has been found to have filed joint returns with another man — Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her children — while still legally married to Elmi.

Campaign finance violations

In a separate press release from Judicial Watch, it was revealed that the initial ethics complaint against Omar was supplemented with an additional request for an investigation into allegedly improper use of campaign funds related to an extramarital affair in which the congresswoman has been accused of being involved.

Citing divorce filings between Dr. Beth Mynett and Tim Mynett — a political consultant working for Omar’s campaign — which alleged an affair between the consultant and congresswoman, it was asserted that a portion of the reported $230,000 paid to Mynett’s consulting firm may have actually been used for personal, not campaign-related expenditures to finance the affair.

None of this looks good for Omar, who has been unable to refute any of the allegations against her — if she even deigns to respond when the issues are raised. While nobody should hold their breath waiting for the Office of Congressional Ethics to actually hold Omar to account, it is nevertheless refreshing to know that the good folks at Judicial Watch are doing their best to keep those issues front and center in a bid to see her held responsible.

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