Prior to their marriage, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) funneled more than $500,000 into a political consulting firm owned by Tim Mynett. After their marriage in March 2020, Omar’s campaign paid Mynett’s firm an additional $2.3 million in the runup to her re-election.
Fox News reported on Federal Election Commission data showing Omar’s campaign paid Mynett’s firm, E Street Group LLC, $1.6 million between January 2019 and July 22, 2020. An additional $1.1. million was paid to the firm in the third quarter of 2020, accounting for 70% of what Omar’s campaign spent that quarter. The expenses “covered a range of services, including cable advertising, ‘digital consulting,’ video production and editing,” Fox reported.
Shortly after her marriage in March, Omar defended her campaign’s spending by pointing out that her husband and Will Hailer, who co-founded E Street Group, had been a fixture in Minnesota politics long before she ran for congress. She also said at the time that her campaign pays “fair market value for these services, but spend relatively little on fundraising compared to how much we raise, allowing us to invest more in organizing work to pass a bold progressive agenda.”
She also noted that her relationship with Mynett “began long after this work started” and that the couple “consulted with a top FEC campaign attorney to ensure there were no possible legal issues with our relationship. We were told this is not uncommon and that no, there weren’t.”
Richard Painter, former chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House and a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Law School, told the New York Post in July that Omar’s financial ties to her husband’s firm were legal, but unseemly.
“It should not be allowed,” Painter said. “I think it’s a horrible idea to allow it, given the amount of money that goes into these campaigns from special interests.”
The Washington Examiner reported in August 2019 that Omar’s campaign was E Street’s biggest client and that most of the money given to the firm came after Omar easily won her primary. Her general election race was far from competitive, in a district that is D+26.
Data from Open Secrets show Omar’s district was the fifth most expensive House race in the 2020 election cycle, with $20 million spent. Only $5.2 million of that was spent by Omar (the bulk was raised and spent by her Republican opponent Lacy Johnson), which means half of the money Omar spent on her campaign went to her husband’s firm.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Omar’s campaign finances were the subject of an ethics complaint filed by right-leaning government watchdog Judicial Watch, which accused Omar of misdeeds including marriage and tax fraud. The complaint followed Post reporting that Omar was allegedly having an affair with a member of her political consulting team, Mynett. The allegations were made by Mynett’s then-wife in divorce filings. Omar has insisted that her relationship with Mynett began after they were both divorced from their respective spouses.
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