Rep. Ilhan Omar probed for allegedly spending $6,000 of campaign funds on divorce attorney, personal travel
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., will soon learn the conclusions of an investigation into allegations that she violated campaign spending laws during her time as a state lawmaker -- including accusations that she used campaign money to pay for her divorce attorney and personal travel.
The culmination of the state probe is just the latest potential controversy for Omar, an embattled freshman in Congress who has repeatedly faced criticism for comments about Israel and U.S. foreign policy.
In the state case, Minnesota state Rep. Steve Drazkowski, a Republican, alleged that Omar spent around $6,000 in campaign money on her divorce attorney and travels to Estonia and Boston, Sinclair reported.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board was alerted after Omar, who was a state representative between 2017 and 2019, had to repay $2,500 that she accepted for speeches and higher education institutions funded by the government.
The repayment stems from another complaint filed by Drazkowski. The ruling on the investigation is expected within the next month.
“I had observed a long pattern,” Drazkowski told the outlet. “Representative Omar hasn't followed the law. She's repeatedly trampled on the laws of the state in a variety of areas, and gotten by with it.”
“Representative Omar hasn't followed the law. She's repeatedly trampled on the laws of the state in a variety of areas, and gotten by with it.”— Minnesota state Rep. Steve Drazkowski
Omar, 37, an immigrant from Somalia who came to the U.S. with her family in 1995, previously denied the allegations, insisting that her payment to attorney Carla Kjellberg, who represented her in the dissolution of her marriage, was merely a compensation for providing crisis management services during her run for the Minnesota state House, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Omar has faced constant controversy since joining the U.S. House in January. She first came under fire after a 2012 tweet resurfaced in which Omar wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
She then drew bipartisan uproar in February after she falsely suggested Jewish politicians in the U.S. were bought by AIPAC, a non-partisan organization that seeks to foster the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
Omar then reignited the controversy, saying groups supportive of Israel were pushing members of Congress to have “allegiance to a foreign country,” echoing an anti-Semitic trope of dual loyalty.