Rep. Ilhan Omar paid another $150,000 to Tim Mynett’s political consulting group in the three months after The Post first revealed allegations the pair were romantically involved, records show.
The 37-year-old Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign has funneled $146,712.63 to Mynett’s E Street Group since The Post in August reported allegations she was having an affair with her paid consultant, records show.
The latest payments to Mynett’s group were for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and video production.
When news of the alleged affair broke, Omar had already paid $223,000 through her campaign since 2018 for fundraising consulting, internet advertising, digital communications, and travel expenses to the E Street Group — taking the latest total to $370,000.
But the federal agency charged with probing the campaign finance complaint against Omar is powerless to act because it doesn’t have enough commissioners on the bench to investigate.
“This is something every American should be very concerned about,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen.
“We have no election cop on the beat. The Federal Election Commission essentially closed its doors so everyone knows they can pretty much do whatever they want to do and that’s the status of our political system today.”
Both Omar and Mynett have denied the allegations in Beth Mynett’s divorce papers that the consultant dumped his wife in April because he was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative.
In October, Omar filed for divorce from her husband Ahmed Hirsi amid the affair allegations — claiming the marriage was “irretrievable.” The split was finalized on Nov. 5.
The congresswoman’s office and the E Street Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Conservative watchdog the National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint against Omar with the Federal Election Commission in the wake of the bombshell report — seeking a probe into whether the Democrat used campaign funds to rendezvous with her alleged lover.
But because the FEC has only three of six commissioner slots filled and needs at least four members to vote on complaints — their hands are tied.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Holman said of the continued payments from Omar to her alleged love interest. “We literally have no election cop on the beat and we’re entering the 2020 election that promises to be the most expensive election in history.”
The FEC complaint focused on the fact that more than $12,673.43 of the payments to Mynett were simply labelled “travel expenses” — a potential breach of campaign finance law which states that travel expenses be itemized.
“Our question is whether this was necessary travel or whether she was just bringing her boyfriend along for the company,” NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty said in August.
FEC spokesman Christian Hilland on Friday said the agency was still open for business but needed the US Senate to confirm a fourth member until it begins investigating campaign finance violations again.
“We are willing to accept reports but we are not able to move forward with any investigatory matters,” he said.
Source: Read Full Article