Congresswoman Omar has paid husband’s firm more than $800k
New campaign finance data shows that Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D) had paid her own husband’s consulting firm more than $878,000 since 2018. Omar was divorced in March and married Tim Mynett, who was a member of her political consulting team.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that in the first quarter of this year, Mynett’s firm received more than $292,000 from Omar’s campaign for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and research services. In 2019 he was paid more than $500,000.
Omar’s campaign is the biggest client by far of her husband’s firm. According to Open Secrets, one-third of the congresswoman’s campaign cash goes to the firm.
“It should not be allowed,” said Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer. “I think it’s a horrible idea to allow it, given the amount of money that goes into these campaigns from special interests.”
At least one conservative group has taken issue with the arrangement. The Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint against Omar last year and sought an FEC investigation. If the FEC does investigate, Omar and Mynett would have to provide proof that Omar is paying market-based rates for the services.
The couple was first outed by Mynett’s ex-wife when she claimed Omar was having an affair with her husband in her divorce filing. Omar initially denied the affair.
In March, Omar tweeted that she and Mynett received permission from federal authorities to continue their business relationship.
“We 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,” Omar tweeted.
Jonathan Turley is the chair of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He called Omar out on Twitter on Wednesday.
“Omar yesterday insisted that we cannot allow people to “prioritize profit without considering who is profiting. That question is now being raised in growing ethical concerns over Omar giving her husband’s company a massive amount of her campaign funds,” Turley tweeted.
A 1960s federal anti-nepotism statute prohibits members of Congress from hiring relatives for government jobs but it does not block family members from doing campaign work. A handful of other members of Congress pay their relatives for campaign advice but non to the tune of $800,000.
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