Ilhan Omar's 'huge payout' to lover Tim Mynett's company rakes up a controversy, investigation sought

National Legal and Policy Center had in August complained against the Congresswoman and her political consultant Mynett saying campaign funds were being used for travel to facilitate their romance.

                            Ilhan Omar's 'huge payout' to lover Tim Mynett's company rakes up a controversy, investigation sought
Ilhan Omar (Getty Images)

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar recently got divorced from her husband Ahmed Hirsi and before the dust settled down, the Democratic member of the ‘Squad’ is faced with a fresh charge. It has been alleged that Omar took her lover Tim Mynett on trips that were paid for by her campaign. In October, the conservative National Legal and Policy Center filed an amended version of the complaint that was made against Omar’s spending on the campaign. The group has now asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to probe the payments made by the Congresswoman’s campaign to Mynett’s company, The E Street Group, Daily Mail reported. Mynett is Omar’s finance chief and his wife, Beth, has also filed for divorce after accusing him of dumping her for Omar.  

Omar’s campaign paid Mynett’s firm over $369,000 since hiring him in August 2018 and the payments went on till this September. According to the records filed to the FEC, nearly $25,000 is categorized as travel expenses, Daily Mail, which revealed the duo's romantic involvement, reported.

“If Ilhan for Congress reimbursed Mynett's LLC for travel so that Rep. Omar would have the benefit of Mynett's romantic companionship, the expenditure must be considered personal in nature”, Peter Flaherty, chairman of the NLPC, wrote in his complaint filed. Earlier in August, Flaherty had filed a complaint against Omar and Mynett, both aged 38, with the FEC alleging that the Congresswoman's campaign funds were being used for travel to facilitate the couple's romance.

Rep Ilhan Omar (third from left) is considered as a member of the 'Squad'; the other three being  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who is speaking in this picture; Ayanna Pressley (second from left) and Rashida Tlaib (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

“Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit the use of campaign funds for personal expenses collateral to travel... unless personal funds are used to reimburse the committee", he added.

FEC's health 

Whether the probe gets underway against Omar remains uncertain but the FEC itself is in a state of paralysis to enforce campaign finance laws because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to confirm its new members. The body does not have enough members at the moment to reach a quorum after its vice-chairman Matthew Peterson resigned a few months ago.

Ilhan for Congress paid Mynetts’ The E Street Group over $222,000 between August 2018 and July this year. In July, $92,746 was paid while in August and September, the company got another $54,000, as per the FEC figures. The October figures are likely to be known this month. “If you total her expenditure, about one-third of it went to E Street”, Flaherty told, adding that error lied in the fact that the travel expenses were not separated from fundraising.

Flaherty said a disbursement can be a “travel” expense or a “fundraising” expense but it cannot be two together even if the travel happens together with fundraising activities. He said either of the two parties cared little for the law or they did not understand it. 

Nothing wrong, says attorney 

Neither Omar’s campaign nor Mynett’s firm was ready to accommodate Flaherty’s complaint. David Mitrani, the attorney who acts for both, said Flaherty’s complaint is nothing more than attempting to make a baseless “legal jeopardy”, the Daily Mail report added. He said the parties of both Omar and Mynett have acted as per the federal campaign finance regulations.

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