Rep. Ilhan Omar confronted by Sinclair reporters in front of the Capitol
Muslima Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is under investigation for using her campaign funds when she was a state lawmaker to pay for her divorce.
According to Sinclair investigative reporter James Rosen, authorities have recently completed their investigation and are preparing to issue a ruling.
Two complaints against Ilhan Omar were filed last year by Republican state lawmaker Steve Drazkowski.
In referring Omar to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, Drazkowski alleged that Omar improperly spent close to $6,000 in campaign funds for personal use, including payments to her divorce attorney and for travel to Boston and Estonia. Drazkowski’s filing of the two complaints followed an earlier episode in which Omar repaid $2,500 for honoraria she received for speeches at colleges that receive state funding, a violation of ethics rules for Minnesota lawmakers.
“I had observed a long pattern,” Drazkowski told Sinclair in an interview from his office in southeastern Minnesota. “Representative Omar hasn’t followed the law. She’s repeatedly trampled on the laws of the state in a variety of areas, and gotten by with it.”
Sinclair’s investigative stakeout reporters approached Ilhan Omar last week as she left the Capitol and she refused to answer any questions about the alleged campaign finance violations.
Omar’s aide told Sinclair to try to schedule an interview with the lawmaker instead — as expected, Omar’s team gave Sinclair the runaround and never responded to their email inquiries.
Republican State Rep. Drazkowski complained that Omar uses her gender, religious beliefs and ethnicity, a Muslim woman from Somalia, as a shield against critics. “There’s a political fear that people have,” Drazkowski said, “of being called a name, being called a bigot, being called racist, being called Islamophobic.”
Zielinski sought to use the campaign finance allegations against Omar during a debate they held in the studios of Minnesota Public Radio on Oct. 23 of last year. Moderator Tom Crann picked up the issue, posing a series of questions to Omar about the complaints. Omar said Drazkowski was “bigoted” and said she had at that point not received any notification from the campaign finance board as to whether it was formally investigating Drazkowski’s complaints. Asked three times by Crann if she had misused campaign funds for travel, however, Omar hesitated before replying in a halting manner: “If there was, um — [pauses] — an, an improper action, I would not have used it.”
Omar has said elsewhere that the payments to her divorce lawyer reflected compensation for legal services rendered to one of her state campaigns. In an editorial published Oct.12, the Minnesota Star-Tribune called on Omar to provide more information about her campaign spending, saying “Fifth District voters deserve a fuller response” on the travel allegations.
Sources exclusively told Sinclair that the campaign finance board has completed their investigation of both complaints against Ilhan Omar – one related to using funds to pay her divorce lawyer, and the other for issues related to travel expenses and will issue a ruling within the next 4 to 6 weeks.
It is also alleged Ilhan Omar married her own brother to defraud the US immigration system.
Omar gives reporters the same kind of runaround when they ask her if she married her own brother — she accuses her critics of being “bigots” and “Islamophobes.”