Ethically challenged Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has been the subject of scrutiny for election fraud, campaign finance fraud, tax fraud and even marriage fraud—among other things—since getting elected to Congress in 2018.
But that didn’t stop her from doubling down in her 2020 re-election campaign.
In fact, many of the campaign contributions given to Omar may have gone directly back into her own pocket courtesy of her most recent husband/political consultant Tim Mynett.
Omar’s relationship with Mynett blossomed during the 2018 campaign, after which her campaign expenditures came under scrutiny, raising questions about her weekend jaunts with Mynett, the co-owner of the E Street Group consulting firm.
After rumors were confirmed in divorce filings by Mynett’s wife, both lovebirds split from their current spouses and were married in March 2020.
At the time, she denied any impropriety, claiming the two had cleared their conflict of interest with a top lawyer specializing in campaign-finance regulations.
My relationship with Tim began long after this work started.
We consulted with a top FEC campaign attorney to ensure there were no possible legal issues with our relationship. We were told this is not uncommon and that no, there weren’t.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 17, 2020
By July, though, reports surfaced that her campaign was continuing to rely on Mynett’s firm for its services and had paid it $600,000 that month alone.
The final quarterly reports said that Mynett and his business partner, Will Hailer, received 146 checks from Omar throughout the campaign cycle—effectively keeping their business afloat, the Washington Examiner reported.
In response to the revelations, two GOP congressmen introduced the OMAR Act, which would prevent candidates from using campaign expenditures to enrich their spouses, according to a press release from Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wisc.
“Loopholes that allow members of Congress to funnel campaign funds to their spouses are despicable and erode trust in our government,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., who was cosponsoring the bill with Tiffany.
“There’s simply no logical reason for allowing this practice to continue, and I’m proud to join Rep. Tiffany in this common-sense effort to ensure members can’t profit off running for Congress.”
Ironically, the bill was a variation of one proposed by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., when Democrats were the House minority, which was endorsed at the time by the party’s House leadership.
“Regardless of political party, we should all be able to agree that running for political office shouldn’t be part of a family enrichment scheme,” Tiffany said. “Passing the OMAR Act will help restore public confidence in Congress and stop politicians from effectively pocketing their campaign funds.”
It is unlikely, however, to gain any traction in the current climate, where doing so might not only raise questions about spousal conflicts of interest, but also those of other family members.
President Joe Biden has long relied on the services of his sister, Valerie, as a campaign media consultant and other family members also have profited both directly and indirectly from their political connections.
Meanwhile, many members of Congress have seen their spouses benefit from policy positions even when those may be separate from the campaign’s work.
Both Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are among those, for example, who maintain strong ties to Chinese business interests through their respective spouses, which may have conflicted with the trade-war policies implemented by former president Donald Trump to divest in the communist Asian superpower.