The national media might not take a lot of interest in Ilhan Omar’s curious tax filings, but at least some of the local media has awoken to some of it. The local CBS affiliate attempted to get answers from the House Democrat about the questions raised by her tax filings, but got nothing but stonewalled. Why, WCCO wonders, does Omar not want to explain why she filed joint married returns with one man while being legally married to another, a violation of state law, at the least? Via Power Line:
Below is a timeline of Omar’s personal relationships as well as the Campaign Finance Board documents.
Early 2000s: Omar and Ahmed Hirsi had two children but never married
2009: Omar legally married another man, Ahmed Elmi
2011: Omar and Elmi obtained a faith-based divorce, but no legal divorce
2012: Omar reconciles with Hirsi and the couple had a third child
2014, 2015: Omar and Hirsi file joint married returns
2016: Omar’s attorney and accountants find “something needs to be corrected” in Omar’s filings
2017: Omar files for divorce from Elmi
2018: Omar legally marries Hirsi
Omar’s staff did not comment when asked if the correction needed in 2016 in Omar’s filings was her marital status.
In Minnesota, a married person can only file jointly with his/her legal spouse, which means that these two filings violated the law. One point to note in WCCO’s timeline is that the returns from 2014 and 2015 are the only returns produced for Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Board. They had opened an investigation into Omar’s campaign finances and found other violations, but probe forced the public release of the returns. We don’t know how many years Omar and Hirsi may have violated the law, filing joint returns while Omar was married to another man. It may extend well beyond 2012 and their supposed reconciliation all the way back to 2009, for all we know at the moment.
Omar’s not commenting, and Omar’s staff isn’t commenting either. That seems pretty curious for a supposedly technical violation that has already been addressed. Only at the very end of the segment does anyone get a hint of the reason for the stonewalling, and even that’s left out of the text version of Esme Murphy’s report:
Omar’s complicated marital history previously led to unsubstantiated claims that Ahmed Elmi, whom the congresswoman legally married in 2009, is actually Omar’s brother, and the marriage was for immigration purposes. Omar has repeatedly denied those rumors, calling them ‘disgusting lies.’
Was Elmi Omar’s brother, and was the marriage a sham for immigration purposes? The Associated Press attempted to investigate that claim last October, only to come up empty in the final days of the 2018 midterms. Omar refused to cooperate with the AP investigation, not even to provide a list of her siblings, which seems a little unusual. Elmi also didn’t make himself available for their investigation, which again seems a bit strange. How tough would it be to come forward and demonstrate that Elmi didn’t marry his sister to improve his immigration status?
These are questions that Power Line’s Scott Johnson has been trying to ask for months. He submitted a request to Omar’s office and campaign comms staff over the weekend to see her tax returns from 2009 forward and to explain why she thought it was legal to file jointly with someone who wasn’t her spouse. Thus far, Scott has not had any more luck than WCCO in getting answers.
Maybe her fellow House Democrats can help pry them out of Omar. After all, they’re demanding full transparency from Donald Trump on his tax returns even though they can’t even point to probable cause for a crime. The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board found clear evidence of tax violations with Omar in the two years of tax returns they reviewed, on top of previous campaign-finance violations. Shouldn’t that prompt House Democrats to apply the same transparency standard to Omar?