Firm co-owned by Omar’s husband got $635K in PPP relief along with millions from her campaign
A D.C.-based consulting firm co-owned by Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband, Tim Mynett, received millions from her campaign and was also eligible for more than $500,000 in coronavirus assistance money. Total relief received by the firm amounted to $635,000.
Public records show that E Street Group, co-owned by Mynett, received nearly $135,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and $500,000 in Economic Injury Disaster loans.
Campaign finance filings also show that the firm was the recipient of millions during the 2020 campaign from Omar. The payments included $110,000 for digital advertising split into three payouts: $5,000 for digital consulting, $12,000 for fundraising consulting, and more than $11,000 for digital and literature production between late October and the day after the general election.
Omar “has paid nearly $2.8 million to her husband’s political consulting firm so far in the 2019-2020 election cycle, including nearly 70% of her third-quarter disbursements,” Fox News previously reported. “Federal Election Commission data shows that Omar’s campaign sent $1.6 million to E Street Group LLC, which is owned by her husband Tim Mynett, from the start of 2019 through Jul. 22, 2020. After that, she reported an additional $1.1 million in the third quarter and $27,000 in the following weeks. That $1.1 million constituted nearly 70% of the $1.6 million that Omar’s campaign spent that quarter.”
Coronavirus loans are intended to provide relief to small businesses that have been economically hard-hit by coronavirus lockdowns and are in danger of going out of business. E Street Group’s LinkedIn profile states that it has between 11 and 50 employees.
Federal Election Commission filings also reveal that the firm received payments for other campaigns, including $175,000 from the committee of Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and nearly $130,000 from the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
In mid-November, Omar cut ties with her husband’s firm after she won re-election in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, saying she wanted to “make sure that anybody who is supporting our campaign with their time or financial support feels there is no perceived issue with that support.”
“Every dollar that was spent went to a team of more than twenty that were helping us fight back against attacks and organize on the ground and online in a COVID-19 world,” she stated. “And Tim — beyond his salary at the firm — received no profit whatsoever from the consulting relationship the firm provided.”
She claimed in a Nov. email that she was cutting ties with the firm to put an end to questions about the connection between her campaign and his business. She is denying any wrongdoing.
The FEC allows lawmakers to hire family members or spouses to work on their campaigns, but a political ethics expert said the practice creates suspicion and should be banned.
“We consulted with a top FEC campaign attorney to ensure there were no possible legal issues with our relationship,” she said on Twitter in March, just days after she and Mynett were married. “We were told this is not uncommon and that no, there weren’t.”
Before cutting ties, however, she was by far the E Street Group’s biggest client, according to Open Secrets data, with nearly one in every three of her campaign dollars going to Mynett’s firm as of last August.
Omar revealed in March that she had married Mynett after she had denied allegations that she was having an affair with him while both she and Mynett were married to other people.