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Ilhan Omar: It’s All About Her Benjamins, Baby

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Not content with having misused campaign funds in Minnesota for out-of-state travel, not content with having – apparently — married her own brother in order to commit immigration and student-loan fraud, not content with having been – apparently — married to one man at the same time as she declared on her tax returns, two years running, that she was married to another, not content with having committed adultery with her campaign consultant, to whom she paid unusually large sums, both when they were lovers and now that they are married to one another, llhan Omar continues to have a problem with “benjamins.” Those are the 100-dollar bills with Benjamin Franklin’s face on them; “benjamins” is Omar’s synecdoche for money, lots of it.

She famously used the phrase in attacking AIPAC, the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, accusing it of bribing politicians with money for their campaigns, in exchange for their support of Israel. She apparently did not realize two things: first, AIPAC does not make contributions to political campaigns, and second, a great many Americans, including political figures, support Israel out of conviction. No one is given money to be “pro-Israel.” I’m fairly sure that cannot be said for Saudi Arabia.

Now Rep. Ilhan Omar is on track to pay the political firm founded by her new husband more than $1 million by the end of 2020, campaign finance filings show.

The New York Post has the story here:

In the first three months of this year, the Minnesota Democrat’s campaign paid the E Street Group $292,000 for advertising, fundraising, travel and other services, according to a federal campaign finance report filed Wednesday and obtained by the Star Tribune.

At that rate, the company would get $1.16 million from Omar’s campaign in 2020 — more than double the $523,000 it received for the whole of last year.

The firm was founded by Omar’s longtime consultant Tim Mynett, allegedly a former loverwhom she married last month. The congresswoman announced their nuptials on Instagram.

Their relationship attracted scrutiny in August, when The Post was first to report that Mynett’s then-wife, Beth, alleged in court papers that he walked out on their marriage after admitting to having an affair with Omar and declaring his love for her.

Both Omar, 38, and Mynett, 39 — who were each married to other people at the time — denied the affair.

The claim prompted a conservative watchdog group to file a complaint against Omar with the Federal Election Commission. The FEC has taken no public action in regard to the complaint.

Ilhan Omar’s ex allegedly learned of affair after walking in on her and lover in pajamas

It’s not illegal to put friends and family on the campaign payroll as long as the cash is for legitimate campaign expenses and paid at fair market value.

What kinds of payments did Tim Mynett’s firm receive in the past or now, from other clients? Was his small political consultancy group, which received almost all of its income in 2018, 2019, and 2020 from Ilhan Omar’s campaign, being “paid at fair market value”? How is it that the amount the firm received in 2019 is expected to double this year? Will Tim Mynett’s firm be doing twice as much work? Or has E Street Consultants suddenly become able to charge twice as much because of tthe superb quality of their 2019 work? Surely the Committee on Congressional Ethics needs to look into this, but given Ilhan Omar’s combative nature and the sheer chutzpah with which she lies – she firmly denied having an affair with Mynett, just a few months before they married — some of its Democratic members may be scared to take her on.

The freshman firebrand — who first hired Mynett’s firm during her 2018 congressional run — defended their business relationship in a series of tweets last month.

“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,” Omar tweeted.

“As a family, we are committed to the practice of joy, compassion and love in our politics. And we are giving ourselves the permission to be happy and hope others will as well.”

On track to paying her husband’s firm $1.16 million this year, Ilhan Omar is in effect paying herself. She stands to benefit from the enormous salary Tim Mynett is now receiving, out of all proportion to what he was making over many years, before Ilhan Omar became his client, then his lover, and then his wife.

While Omar has so far managed to avoid investigation by the Committee on Congressional Ethics, her fellow Muslim congresswoman and soulmate Rashida Tlaib is still under investigation. The OCE has noted that “Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes. If Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use, or if Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, then Rep. Tlaib may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”

We already know that as a member of the Minnesota State Legislature, Ilhan Omar was found to have misused campaign funds on personal accounting expenses and out-of-state travel, and was required to pay back her campaign $3,500, and a fine of $500..

In June 2019, Minnesota’s CFB (Campaign Finance Board) found that Omar filed “tax returns for two years, stating she was married to one man when, in fact, she was married to another.”

So even before she came to Washington, Omar had managed both to misuse campaign funds while running for the state legislature, and to cheat on her taxes by claiming to be married to one man while still married to another. How much Omar saved by that lie, and whether she was allowed to “amend” her tax returns to reflect reality without a penalty, is not known.

And now, in Washington, where Congresswoman Ilhan Omar presumes to preach to others about morality, this smiling con artist, having paid penalties when caught back in Minneapolis, but so far managed to keep her Congressional seat, will this year likely be directing more than one million dollars in her campaign funds to her husband’s firm. All perfectly legal, of course, unless the Committee on Congressional Ethics decides that the “fair market value” of Mr. Mynett’s consulting services to Mrs. Mynett is not a million dollars, but a great deal less.

We’ll just have to wait and see. Ilhan Omar has a lot to answer for. So far she’s managed to slither away. But investigative reporters are on her trail. Let’s hope this turns out to be her annus horribilis.

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