Rep. Ilhan Omar has plowed hundreds of thousands of dollars into her husband’s consulting firm over the past two years, financial records show.
The Minnesota Democrat’s campaign paid Tim Mynett $292,814 in 2020 for advertising and research services, among other consulting measures, Federal Election Commission filings show. The New York Post was the first to report Tuesday on Omar’s contributions, which show she has paid Mynett’s firm $878,930 since 2018.
Omar’s payments prompted one ethics complaint in 2019 after Beth Mynett, Tim Mynett’s then-wife, accused Omar in her divorce filing of having an affair with a married man on her consulting team. The Democrat was married to her second husband at the time of the accusations.
Omar argued in March that “rightwing Twitter trolls” are dredging up her past for political purposes. “Everything we spend is used for a legitimate expense and paid at fair market value,” she told her Twitter followers that month.
Legal experts argue that the FEC’s rule allowing lawmakers and candidates to hire family members on campaigns should be changed.
“It should not be allowed,” Richard W. Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House, told the Post Tuesday.
He added: “I think it’s a horrible idea to allow it, given the amount of money that goes into these campaigns from special interests.”
Beth Mynett said in her divorce filing that Tim Mynett claimed he was “nearly broke” due to his “floundering business.”
“There’s a long line of abuses in this regard where members of Congress will hire family members and pay their family members to do ‘campaign work’ in order to supplement the family income,” Cleta Mitchell, an expert in political law, told the Post.
If the FEC investigates the contributions, then Omar must provide evidence that her campaign is offering her husband a market-based rate, according to Mitchell.
Omar’s office has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Author: Chris White