'Omar hasn't followed the law': Rep. Ilhan Omar faces investigations for improperly spending campaign funds

Controversial freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) will soon learn the result of an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations, involving her reported use of campaign funds to finance a divorce lawyer and personal travel during her tenure as a Minnesota state lawmaker.

What are the details?

According to WJLA-TV, investigators will complete two probes initiated by Minnesota state Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R) when he referred Omar to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board last year, alleging she spent campaign funds for personal use.

The complaints allege Omar used nearly $6,000 in state campaign funds to finance a divorce attorney and travel to Boston and Estonia. Omar divorced her first husband, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, in 2017.

"I had observed a long pattern. Rep. Omar hasn't followed the law. She's repeatedly trampled on the laws of the state in a variety of areas and gotten by with it," Drazkowski told WJLA.

Drazkowski filed the complaints after Omar returned $2,500 in honoraria she received for speeches to Minnesota colleges that receive taxpayer funding, which was a violation of ethics rules for Minnesota state lawmakers. Drazkowski was also responsible for the complaint that forced Omar to return the money.

In October, the Minnesota Star-Tribune called on Omar to answer for her apparent systematic history of "financial improprieties that violate either Minnesota House rules or state campaign finance laws."

"To be sure, the sum of money in question in any one of these accusations is small. But together, the charges suggest a pattern of carelessness and/or self-dealing with legally restricted funds. Neither conclusion inspires the confidence voters deserve to have in someone they send to the U.S. House to represent them," the board wrote.

What has Omar said?

Omar denies the allegation she improperly used funds to pay an attorney, claiming the funds in question were for "crisis management services" related to her Minnesota state House campaign.

Similarly, her U.S. House campaign did not answer questions about Drazkowski's allegations, deferring the media to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

The investigations will be completed within the next four to six weeks, WJLA reported.
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