There is new scrutiny placed on Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) campaign funding misuse due to the investigation focusing on her past tax filings.
As IJR Red previously reported, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board order Omar to pay back thousands of dollars of campaign funds and also pay a $500 penalty to the state.
However, according to the board-issued report, the lawmaker and her current husband Ahmed Hirsi filed joint taxes while she was still married to her former husband, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. The years in question are 2014 and 2015, when Omar was still legally married to Elmi.
Filing a joint tax return without a legal marriage is against both federal and state law, yet the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board never referred the case to county prosecutors, meaning that Omar will most likely avoid any consequences for the potential tax violation.
According to the Associated Press, Omar’s campaign claimed in a statement that “all of Rep. Omar’s tax filings are fully compliant with all applicable tax law.” The board’s report showed that the lawmaker had paid $1,500 to an accounting firm to resolve issues related to the joint tax filings.
Some are speculating that filing jointly may have lowered Omar’s tax burden, but that is not always the case. Cases such as Omar’s are also rarely treated as a criminal matter unless she was attempting to cheat or knowingly provide false information.
As IJR Red reported, Minnesota Republican State Rep. Steve Drazkowski was the one who filed the complaints of campaign funding misuse against the representative after he noticed a pattern of behavior.
“I had observed a long pattern,” Drazkowski said to Sinclair in an interview. “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.”
This new focus on the investigation will most likely not result in the pursuit of criminal charges, but it is one more scandal surrounding the controversial congresswoman.