The US Federal Election Commission dismissed a 2019 complaint that she illegally used campaign funds to pay for personal travel expenses for her future husband Tim Mynett
A federal elections agency has tossed a complaint alleging that US Rep Ilhan Omar used campaign funds to finance her affair with a political consultant she later married.
The US Federal Election Commission (FEC) voted unanimously, 6-0, at a meeting in December that it found no wrongdoing from the Democratic congresswoman.
The ruling closed the investigation and threw out a complaint filed by right-wing think tank National Legal & Policy Center back in 2019.
The think tank accused the “Squad” member of illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal travel expenses for Tim Mynett.
Mr Mynett runs political consulting firm E Street Group, which was hired to work on Ms Omar’s campaign.
Campaign finance records revealed that the Minnesota Democrat paid more than $369,000 to E Street between August 2018 and September 2019.
In August 2019, allegations surfaced that Ms Omar and Mr Mynett were having an affair. Both were married to other people at the time.
Mr Mynett’s then-wife filed for divorce, claiming that the consultant’s “more recent travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep Omar than his actual work commitments”.
Ms Omar denied the affair at the time and said she would not discuss her personal life.
She then filed for divorce from her husband that October and she and Mr Mynett married in March 2020, after both divorces were finalised.
Ms Omar then cut ties with her husband’s firm saying she wished to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest.
The National Legal & Policy Center’s complaint pointed to Mr Mynett’s ex-wife’s divorce filing to allege that his travel expenses were so that Ms Omar “would have the benefit of Mynett’s romantic companionship”.
“The expenses must be considered personal in nature,” the complaint alleged.
The FEC ruling dismissed the allegations, saying there is “no reason to believe” the congresswoman and her treasurer Kate Wittenstein “knowingly and wilfully violated” federal regulations by “improperly reporting payee information”, by “reporting improper disbursement purposes” or by “converting campaign funds to personal use”.
However, while finding no wrongdoing, the commission said it was directing Rep. Omar and Ms Wittenstein to work with the Reports Analysis Division “to amend their disbursement purpose reporting as needed”.
Ms Omar’s campaign was a success and she was sworn into office representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in January 2019.
This made her one of the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress alongside fellow Squad member Rep. Rashida Tlaib.