Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) made it clear Tuesday that she does not want to discuss the latest controversy to engulf her life and campaign.
On Tuesday, the New York Post reported that Washington, D.C.-based physician Dr. Beth Jordan Mynett had filed for divorce from her husband — Tim Mynett, a Democratic operative who works for Omar's campaign — after he revealed in April that he was having an affair with Omar.
Omar was confronted about the affair by a reporter from WCCO-TV, the Minneapolis CBS affiliate in Omar's district.
"Are you separated from your husband? Are you dating somebody?" reporter Esme Murphy asked.
"No, I am not," Omar responded. "And like I said yesterday, I have no interest in allowing the conversation about my personal life to continue and so I have no desire to discuss it."
Whether or not a politician's personal life should be discussed in public — they are public officials, after all — there are legal concerns surrounding Omar's alleged relationship, specifically related to the money that her campaign spent on services from Mynett's consulting firm, the E Street Group.
As the Washington Examiner noted, "Nearly one of every three dollars spent on Ilhan Omar's campaign has gone to her alleged lover's firm."
The Examiner explained:
Of the $145,406 reported earnings by the E Street Group during the 2018 campaign cycle, $62,674 came from Omar's campaign. Not counting payroll taxes and transfers to Minnesota's Democratic Party, E Street Group was Omar's second-largest vendor, according to FEC data. From Labor Day through the end of the year, E Street Group ate up more than 10% of her campaign's spending (not counting transfers to other campaigns).
Here's the odd thing: The overwhelming majority of Omar's funds spent on the E Street Group were paid after she won the contested primary and during the totally noncompetitive general election race in her D+26 district. Contrary to FEC rules, Omar's filings did not designate whether her E Street Group disbursements (or any of her disbursements) were for the primary election or the general election.
The Omar campaign payments to the E Street Group, often reported as "fundraising consulting" fees on her FEC filings, have accelerated in the 2020 cycle. Her campaign has spent $160,000 at E Street this year, the campaign off year. That's nearly one in every three dollars spent on her reelection (again, not including transfers to other campaigns or committees) going to her alleged lover.
A conservative watchdog group, National Legal and Policy Center, has already filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission because many of the payments Omar's campaign made to E Street Group, for things like travel reimbursement, coincide with the alleged affair.
Using campaign funds to aid an affair would constitute a violation of FEC regulations.
In July, the Daily Mail reported that Omar had separated from her husband, Ahmed Hirsi, and the couple were headed toward their second divorce.