Could the strange, on-again-off-again marriage of Ilhan Omar and Ahmed Hirsi be heading for court? Perhaps in more ways than one, although the New York Post’s sources are sticking to the obvious route for now. Hirsi now plans to file for divorce, the paper reports, after allegations of an affair between the congresswoman and her political consultant went public in the latter’s own divorce action.
This would be the second split between Omar and Hirsi … officially, anyway:
The Minnesota congresswoman and her husband allegedly separated in March, and Omar asked Hirsi to divorce her around that time because she didn’t want to file the papers — but Hirsi refused, telling her if she wanted a divorce she should do it herself, said the source, who has known both parties for 20 years.
The husband allegedly changed his mind after Tim Mynett’s wife last week filed bombshell divorce papers claiming her spouse was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative — with Hirsi said to be angry he had been made to look the fool by the allegations of an extramarital affair.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t filed already,” the source told The Post, adding that Hirsi was “very confused” in the wake of the bombshell allegations but still loved his wife and was reluctant to expose their three children to a public divorce battle.
Hirsi and Omar wed in a religious ceremony — but not legally — in 2002, and then split up six years later. In 2009, she married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but that’s where the story gets interesting. Despite her marriage to Elmi, Omar continued to file joint tax returns with Hirsi, which is illegal for unmarried couples in Minnesota. Omar later claimed that the Elmi marriage was also only a “faith tradition” ceremony, but a legal civil marriage certificate exists for it. Omar moved back in with Hirsi in 2012 but didn’t divorce Elmi until 2017. She married Hirsi last year, but that doesn’t retroactively clear the criminal issues regarding Omar’s taxes.
That might not be the only criminal risk that Omar faces if Hirsi decides to play rough in a divorce. According to Scott Johnson’s sources on Omar, Hirsi might be ready to finally explain exactly who Elmi is, and why Omar might be vulnerable to an immigration-fraud prosecution:
In the past three weeks I have circled back to interview sources whom I have found to be highly reliable in the Omar saga. They open a window onto the scandals from the perspective of Ahmed Hirsi, her long-time partner and the father of her three children. According to sources, Hirsi is telling friends:
• that he will not go to jail for Omar;
• that while Omar did indeed marry her brother (Ahmed Elmi) for fraudulent purposes, Hirsi did not know at the time that she had married Elmi;
• that Omar is threatening Hirsi he would be in trouble along with her if the truth were to come out;
• that Omar has asked him to state publicly that all is well with their marriage even though it is completely done and finished; and
• that in fact they are living apart and have been divorced under Islamic law (although they remain legally married).
Having humiliated Ahmed Hirsi by her affair with Tim Mynett, Omar now wants Hirsi to perform public relations services for her to suppress the scandal. That is cold.
Assuming this is all true, Hirsi faces two big problems in this mess. He filed those taxes along with Omar. That makes him just as vulnerable to prosecution over the fraudulent claim of joint filing status. If he knew that Omar had married her brother to fraudulently provide him legal status in the US, he could be charged as an accessory. If Scott’s sources are accurate, Hirsi needs good legal representation and a willingness to cut a deal.
Omar, however, has far more headaches ahead of her if this is all true. Prosecutors won’t be looking to cut a deal with her, after all, and she can’t afford to take one even if they were. Her political career would come to a screeching halt if she admitted to tax and immigration fraud; even in Minnesota’s extreme-liberal 5th congressional district, that’s a few bridges too far. Minneapolis has other up-and-comers who can replace Omar, and likely provide a lot less embarrassment for her district, too.
Just how true is it? The court filings will give us some clue, but Omar’s political adviser is denying the affair in his:
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s alleged lover Tim Mynett has denied bombshell allegations that he left his wife for the Somali-born representative — accusing wife Beth Mynett in a counterclaim of waging a campaign to “ruin his career” after he left their unhappy marriage.
The DC political consultant, who has been working for Omar, denied accusations leveled by his physician wife in her divorce filing that he was having a love affair with Omar and said he hadn’t been in a relationship with any other woman during their six-year marriage, according to the counterclaim filed in DC Superior Court.
“Since the time of Mr. Mynett’s departure from the marital home, Ms. Mynett began a negative campaign against Mr. Mynett, seemingly in an effort to ruin his career and permanently damage his relationship with William and his step-daughter,” read the court papers.
Mynett might have other reasons for issuing a denial. Omar’s campaign spent a lot of money on Mynett, which might create some issues of campaign-finance violations if it turns out that the purposes of that were personal. Those would most likely be civil violations rather than criminal, but that distinction won’t help Omar’s political career — even if she survives the tax and immigration investigations that might soon be coming.
Update: Much of this is based on the dogged research and reporting of PJM’s David Steinberg, who noted on Twitter that the Post never credited him or Scott Johnson with their work on this story. Scott has more on that aspect of the story in a new post at Power Line.