Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar's campaign has sent more than $2.7 million to her husband's political consulting firm for the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to a Fox News report based on Federal Election Commission data.
What's going on?
Omar's relationship with husband Tim Mynett has raised eyebrows for more than a year.
In the summer 2019, reports surfaced that Omar was having an affair with Mynett, a political consultant who was working for her campaign. Both Omar and Mynett were married to other people at the time. After divorcing their spouses, the two tied the knot in March.
During the 2018 election cycle, when Omar won her first race for Congress, Mynett's firm received about $63,000 from her campaign.
Since then, Team Omar has funneled more than $2.7 million to the candidate's spouse for the 2019-2020 election cycle, Fox News reported. Omar won re-election last week.
According to Fox, 70% of Omar's third-quarter payments went to her husband's firm. More from Fox News:
Federal Election Commission data shows that Omar's campaign sent $1.6 million to E Street Group LLC, which is owned by her husband Tim Mynett, from the start of 2019 through Jul. 22, 2020. After that, she reported an additional $1.1 million in the third quarter and $27,000 in the following weeks. That $1.1 million constituted nearly 70% of the $1.6 million that Omar's campaign spent that quarter.
Peter Flaherty, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, which filed the August 2019 FEC complaint, said Omar's marriage to Mynett shows how important an FEC investigation is. He told the Washington Post, "You have a member of Congress paying a close friend and now-husband the bulk of her campaign spending. It still raises the question of whether it is to facilitate a personal relationship or whether Tim Mynett is the best possible vendor for all these possible activities."
Omar's campaign attorney, David Mitrani, told the Post there was nothing wrong with paying the congresswoman's husband's company.
"There is simply nothing unusual about the services that E Street Group provides to Ilhan for Congress — and nothing inappropriate with a vendor being reimbursed for travel for bona fide services — even if that vendor is run by a candidate's spouse," he said.
Fox News reported that the campaign's payments to Omar's husband are possible because though the law prohibits members of Congress from hiring family members for government jobs, it does not prevent family members from working for congressional campaigns.
Fox News reported that neither Omar's office, her campaign, nor E Street responded to requests for comment.