Minnesota state Rep. Steve Drazkowski said that if freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar had followed state law governing campaign finance reporting, she might never have been elected to Congress.
Drazkowski, R-District 21B, served with Omar in the state Legislature during her two-year term and later led the call for a state campaign finance board investigation into her campaign activities.
The board found Omar was guilty on multiple counts and ordered her to pay more than $3,000 worth of fines June 6.
Three different campaign finance complaints and fines were levied by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board against Omar prior to Drazkowski ever getting involved, he says.
In an interview with The Center Square, he said Omar "committed close to a dozen [campaign finance] violations in two to two and a half years, which is unprecedented. No other freshman in the Minnesota House has even come close.”
Prior to running for congressional office, Omar didn't file required financial information by the January deadline, instead filing five months later after a party delegate deadline. Had she filed them in January, the delegates might have chosen another candidate, and she would have faced a Minnesota House ethics investigation, Drazkowski argues, after learning of an ethics violation in which Omar accepted honoraria from three universities as a state legislator.
The investigation into campaign finance irregularities resulted in the committee uncovering joint tax returns Omar filed with her partner, Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her children, while she still was legally married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British citizen, from 2009-2017.
"Rep. Omar now faces very clear probable cause related to potential charges for tax fraud and perjury," Drazkowski said.
There also have been allegations that Elmi is Omar's brother, something Omar has called "absurd and offensive."
Omar affirms that she did marry Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009. They divorced in December 2017.
"There's a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it," President Donald Trump told reporters last week in response to questions. "I’m sure that somebody would be looking at that," he added.
Omar spokesman Jeremy Slevin issued a statement saying the accusations about Omar’s personal life are false in response to the Star-Tribune story.
“Ilhan has shared more than most public officials ever do about the details of her personal life – even when it is personally painful,” Slevin said in a statement published by the Star-Tribune. “Whether by colluding with right-wing outlets to go after Muslim elected officials or hounding family members, legitimate media outlets have a responsibility not to fan the flames of hate. Continuing to do so is not only demeaning to Ilhan, but to her entire family.”
Drazkowski called on his district's representative in the U.S. House, Democrat Angie Craig, to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He also requested the congresswoman open an ethics investigation into Omar, both of which Craig rejected.