Judicial Watch is asking the House of Representatives’ ethics office to investigate “substantial, compelling and, to date, unrefuted evidence” that Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) may have committed “perjury, immigration fraud, marriage fraud, state and federal tax fraud, and federal student loan fraud.”
The conservative watchdog’s ethics complaint relies largely on a three-year investigation of Omar by the Power Line Blog’s David Steinberg. Steinberg concluded that “the facts describe perhaps the most extensive spree of illegal misconduct committed by a House member in American history.”
Much of the story centers on Omar’s marriages, one of which may have been to her brother.
As PolitiFact summarizes things, Omar first married Ahmed Hirsi in 2002, but only religiously, not legally. Six years and two children later, they got a religious divorce.
The next year, Omar married Ahmed Elmi, a U.K. citizen, both religiously and legally. Elmi is suspected of being Omar’s brother primarily because of social-media posts in which he referred to Omar’s children as his “nieces.” Omar has denied that Elmi is her brother “but has not provided further documentation to rebut it,” noted PolitiFact.
“It seemed clear that there is some kind of personal relationship between Omar and Elmi,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune politics editor Kevin Diaz told PolitiFact. “But whether they are family or not, we can’t tell.” His reporters tried to get answers from Omar and other members of her family, he said, but “no one will talk to us.”
“It appears that Rep. Omar married her brother in order to assist his emigration to the United States from the United Kingdom,” reads the Judicial Watch complaint. “The same immigration fraud scheme may have aided Mr. Elmi in obtaining federally-backed student loans for his attendance at North Dakota State University. Mr. Elmi and Rep. Omar simultaneously attended North Dakota State University and may have derived illicit benefits predicated on the immigration fraud scheme.”
In 2011, Omar and Elmi divorced religiously but not legally. The next year, Omar had another child with her supposed ex-husband, Hirsi. She finally obtained a legal divorce from Elmi in 2017 and legally married Hirsi in 2018.
In June, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board found Omar guilty of violating state campaign finance law by using campaign funds for personal expenses and forced her to reimburse the campaign. On top of that, the board discovered that Omar’s 2014 and 2015 federal income-tax returns were filed jointly with Hirsi, to whom she was not legally married at the time.
Then there’s the whole Hirsi-Omar-Elmi ménage à trois. According to the Daily Caller, “Legal documents such as speeding tickets demonstrate that she lived with Hirsi during the entirety of her marriage to Elmi.” Diaz said that “in at least one period after she married Elmi, all three used the same address in Minnesota.”
Omar’s legal divorce from Elmi was a “default” divorce, which requires the person seeking the divorce to swear that his or her spouse has disappeared and cannot be located. In her sworn document, Omar stated that she had had no contact with Elmi since 2011, had been unable to locate him, and didn’t know the names of any of his family members.
Elmi, however, “had public profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn,” wrote the Daily Caller. “Screenshots additionally show Omar continuously interacting with him on social media in the years since.” Perhaps most damningly, there are photographs of Omar and Elmi taken during Omar’s 2015 trip to London — pictures that Omar posted to her own Instagram account. Thus, Omar almost certainly committed perjury when she swore she hadn’t seen or heard from Elmi since 2011.
“The evidence is overwhelming Rep. Omar may have violated the law and House rules,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a press release. “The House of Representatives must urgently investigate and resolve the serious allegations of wrongdoing by Rep. Omar.”
Under normal circumstances, one would consider it highly unlikely that a Democrat-controlled House would seriously investigate a reliably left-wing Democratic congresswoman. But considering the heartburn that Omar is giving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — and the near-certainty that an expelled Omar would be replaced by another Democrat — Judicial Watch may have just given Pelosi a perfect Christmas-in-July present.
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