Rep. Ilhan Omar paid nearly $150,000 more to Tim Mynett’s political consulting group than has previously been known after allegations that the pair was having an affair emerged, a new report says.
“The 37-year-old Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign has funneled $146,712.63 to Mynett’s E Street Group since The Post in August reported allegations she was having an affair with her paid consultant, records show,” The New York Post reported.
The payments were reportedly for video production, digital advertising and fundraising consultation.
Before reports of her affair first emerged, Omar had already paid more than $220,000 to the group through her campaign, bringing the total to nearly $370,000.
Peter Flaherty, chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center, filed an an amended complaint with the Federal Election Commission in October into Omar’s campaign spending. The request came after the Daily Mail revealed an affair between Omar and Mynett, which appears to have played a role in her divorce from husband Ahmed Hirsi.
“If ‘Ilhan for Congress’ reimbursed Mynett’s LLC for travel so that Rep. Omar would have the benefit of Mynett’s romantic companionship, the expenditure must be considered personal in nature,” Flaherty wrote. “Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit the use of campaign funds for personal expenses collateral to travel…unless personal funds are used to reimburse the committee.”
“If you total her expenditure, about one-third of it went to E Street,” Flaherty told DailyMail.com earlier this month.
Flaherty also said there were other anomalies in the campaign’s filing. “A disbursement can be a ‘travel’ expense or a ‘fundraising’ expense but it cannot be both, even if the travel is in conjunction with fundraising activities,” he said.
A statement from the E Street Group in August highlighted the $2.3 million it raised for Omar’s re-election campaign in 2019 and defended itself from charges.
“As FEC reports show – we provide grass tops and grassroots fundraising, political and communications support for Democratic candidates, including events, digital fundraising, ad acquisition, SMS mobilization, research, video and other content collateral creation,” the statement said.
“E Street Group does not comment on the personal life of either our staff or clients,” said the statement.
Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen, told The Post, “This is something every American should be very concerned about.”
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Holman said of the payments. “We literally have no election cop on the beat and we’re entering the 2020 election that promises to be the most expensive election in history.”
In October, Omar said in divorce papers that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship.”
A representative for Omar told TMZ: “As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family. For years, Ilhan and Ahmed have been the object of speculation and innuendo from political opponents and the media.”
“This has taken a significant toll on Ilhan, Ahmed, and their three children. Just like any other family navigating this kind of transition, Ilhan wishes to have their privacy respected for themselves and their children and will not be commenting any further,” the statement said.