By Andrew Kerr –
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota announced Sunday that she had severed financial ties with her husband’s consulting firm after her campaign had divvied out nearly $3 million to the company.
Omar’s campaign was the largest known client of Tim Mynett’s firm, E Street Group, having paid the firm $2.78 million since July 2019, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show. Mynett co-owns the firm with Will Hailer, a former staffer for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. E Street Group’s second-largest client that reports to the FEC was the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which has reported payments of $128,000 to the firm.
Omar said in an email Sunday to her supporters that she did not cut ties with her husband’s firm sooner because of the spending her primary and general election opponents put up against her.
“So we’ve decided to terminate our contract with Tim and Will’s firm,” Omar wrote in the email, according to the Washington Free Beacon. “While many of our close supporters know these two well and have recommended we keep them on — I want to make sure that anybody who is supporting our campaign with their time or financial support feels there is no perceived issue with that support.”
“Because of Will and Tim’s decades of combined knowledge and experience in the (5th District), and the work they had done to prepare us for re-election — where our primary and general opponents spent a record-setting $14 million against us — we couldn’t part ways with this team after we got married,” the email said.
Omar’s financial relationship with the firm first came under considerable scrutiny in August 2019 when both she and Mynett were married to other individuals.
Omar’s campaign had disbursed $21,547 to cover travel expenses for E Street Group from April through June 2018. The payments coincided with the alleged start of Omar’s affair with Mynett, according to an FEC complaint filed by the conservative National Legal and Policy Center arguing that the campaign funds were illegally used to further Omar’s romantic affair with the consultant.
Omar and Mynett divorced their respective spouses by the end of 2019, all the while denying they were having an affair. The couple announced they had tied the knot in March.
Omar’s campaign ramped up its spending with Mynett’s firm after they announced their marriage. She paid the firm over $1 million from late July through October, FEC records show.
Omar said in March on Twitter her campaign’s work with her husband’s consulting firm was cleared by a “top FEC campaign attorney” and that “everything we spend is used for a legitimate expense and paid at fair market value.”
My relationship with Tim began long after this work started.
We consulted with a top FEC campaign attorney to ensure there were no possible legal issues with our relationship. We were told this is not uncommon and that no, there weren’t.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 17, 2020
Omar reiterated that her campaign’s financial relationship with her husband’s firm was legal in her email Sunday.
“I can assure you that every interaction our campaign had with the folks on his team, were allowed under federal law,” she wrote.
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