Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) announced on Wednesday that she had married her political strategist, Tim Mynett. Now, Omar faces renewed scrutiny for the appearance of campaign finance impropriety.
Last August, Dr. Beth Jordan Mynett told the New York Post that her husband, Tim Mynett, had admitted to having an affair with Omar, which triggered Mrs. Mynett to file for a divorce from Mr. Mynett. Omar denied the affair, but by October, she also filed for divorce from her husband.
Quickly after the affair allegations surfaced — which Omar denied — the National Legal and Policy filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Omar used campaign funds for personal reasons, such as to fund the alleged affair.
Those allegations, which Omar denied, received new life this week.
That's because, according to the Washington Post, Omar's campaign has paid Mynett's company, E Street Group, more than a half million dollars.
From the Washington Post:
Since 2018, Omar's campaign paid about $586,000 to E Street Group for a range of services that included digital advertising, fundraising consulting, digital communications and design. The campaign also paid $7,000 to Mynett directly for fundraising consulting before hiring his consulting firm.
Payments to the firm in the 2019-2020 cycle for Omar's reelection campaign comprised 40 percent of total campaign expenses, federal filings show.
Peter Flaherty, chairman of the NLPC, said Omar's marriage to Mynett underscores the need for an FEC inquiry.
"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," Flaherty told the Washington Post.
However, David Mitrani, Omar's campaign attorney, denied that there is impropriety.
"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," Mitrani told the Post.
Unfortunately, the FEC will likely not take action on the complaint any time soon, the Post noted, because the commission is still without its four-person voting quorum.