Minnesota officials ruled this week that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) violated multiple campaign finance laws and ordered her to repay nearly $3,500 in illegal campaign expenses, along with a $500 fine.
As embarrassing as that is for Omar, the investigation also revealed that the freshman congresswoman may have broken federal tax laws by filing joint tax returns with one man while legally married to another.
Minnesota authorities investigate
Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin compiled a Twitter thread that details the findings of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board inquiry into alleged campaign finance violations by Omar in 2018.
Omar was granted 10 days to respond to the Board’s conclusions that she reimburse her campaign for the illegal expenses, file amended financial disclosures, and pay the fine.
But it was the potential for tax fraud that really caught Malkin’s eye. She tweeted, “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…”
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
Potential felony tax fraud
Malkin provided a link in her tweet thread to a separate thread of tweets by independent journalist David Steinberg, who took a closer look.
Steinberg noted that the “SIX campaign finance violations” committed by Omar’s campaign were “amazingly, not the report’s key takeaway.”
“As I have written,
@IlhanMN likely committed a remarkable number of additional felonies due to her fraudulent 2009-2017 marriage,” he tweeted. “Today’s report appears to confirm the worst of them: @IlhanMN may have filed EIGHT YEARS of fraudulent federal and state tax returns.”
Steinberg wrote, “The report states that
@IlhanMN and Ahmed Hirsi filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015. Yet they were not married. @IlhanMN was married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi from 2009-2017. According to both federal and MN law, this is illegal.”
Steinberg further noted that there is no “unmarried filing jointly” status on federal or state tax returns, nor would Omar and Hirsi have qualified to be recognized by the state as having a “common law marriage.” He also went on to note how the local establishment media had predictably overlooked the massive tax fraud bombshell to focus only on the relatively minor campaign finance violations as the main story.
Notably, the campaign finance board report also revealed that in 2016, shortly before Omar first took an elected office, accountants were hired to review Omar’s 2014/15 tax returns and fix “something that could have been detrimental to Ms. Omar,” according to an attorney hired by the campaign. The $1,500 spent on this was found by the board to be part of the illegal campaign expenses because there was no evidence to show it “benefitted the Omar committee.”
An Omar spokesperson dismissed the concerns, saying, “All of Rep. Omar’s tax filings are fully compliant with all applicable tax law.”
But questions remain, and they deserve answers and the attention of both journalists with integrity and federal authorities with an eye toward justice.