Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar has been accused of using campaign funds to pay her divorce attorney by a Minnesota state lawmaker.
Republican state Rep. Steve Drazkowski filed a complaint to Minnesota’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board challenging a $2,250 payment to a family and divorce law firm, reported the Star Tribune on Tuesday. Omar has previously faced scrutiny for possible marriage fraud.
Both Omar and lawyer Carla Kjellberg, who dealt with Omar’s 2017 divorce, denied the accusation.
“That’s absolutely false, I provided legal services for crisis management prior to that, and those funds were for reimbursements for costs on crisis management,” Kjellberg said, according to the Star Tribune.
If the board finds the accusation has enough evidence, it will interview Omar. Then the board will decide whether to move forward with a formal investigation that could take months, reported the Star Tribune.
Drazkowski claims that Omar has a “worrisome pattern” of campaign finance violations, according to the report. Omar has been fined a total of $2,250 for three separate violations since May 2017.
Omar became the nation’s first Somali-American legislator when she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016.
Now she is the frontrunner seeking Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison’s open seat as he runs for state attorney general. But accusations that Omar married her brother to commit immigration fraud have hovered around her after Power Line blog reported on it, according to a 2016 Star Tribune article. (RELATED: Democratic Congresswoman Caves After Unpaid Re-Election Campaign Interns Threaten Strike)
The blog claimed that Omar married Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her three children, in 2002 and, while still married to Hirsi, wed her brother to commit immigration fraud in 2009.
Omar denied the allegations of fraud. She said that she applied for a marriage license with Hirsi but they never followed through, and that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, whom she married in 2009, is not her brother, reported the Star Tribune.
“There are people who do not want an East African, Muslim woman elected to office and who will follow Donald Trump’s playbook to prevent it. Ilhan Omar’s campaign sees your superfluous contentions as one more in a series of attempts to discredit her candidacy,” Omar’s team said according to Power Line writer Scott Johnson after he contacted them about the marriage fraud accusations in 2016.
Omar admitted she had not yet divorced Elmi in 2016.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Omar’s communications team but did not receive comment at the time of publication.
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