State Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-MN-21B) on Tuesday issued a call for an ethics investigation of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05).
Drazkowski, from Mazeppa, issued the challenge to U.S. Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN-02) during a press conference. Also, Drazkowski has called for the withdrawal of Omar’s security clearance and for her removal from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.Rep. Drazkowski's Letter to Rep. Craig
The Republican tweeted a link to the press conference.
This morning's press conference asking Rep Angie Craig to open ethics investigation, remove Rep Omar's security clearance and Foreign Affairs Committee membership. https://t.co/jYIUliP4xT
— Steve Drazkowski (@SteveDraz) June 25, 2019
The press conference is also available here.
According to CBS Minnesota, Drazkowski had demanded a State Campaign Finance Board investigation that showed Omar allegedly filed joint tax returns with her partner while married to someone else.Press Release - Rep. Steve Drazkowski - June 25
Drazkowski said in a press release, “Rep. Omar has been found guilty of campaign finance abuses by the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board (CFB), which is expected to take further action against her on Wednesday. In addition to previous campaign finance abuses, Rep. Omar was found on June 6, 2019 to have illegally used campaign funds for personal use and illegally diverting campaign funds for travel to Washington, Boston, New York, Chicago, and Florida. Rep. Omar may be guilty of federal tax fraud, federal immigration fraud, federal student loan fraud, perjury, and bigamy. Enough is enough.
“The media is applying a double standard to Rep. Omar,” Drazkowski said. “If a Republican Congresswoman had been accused of all these crimes, reporters would be in an uproar.
“Rep. Omar is a serial criminal, and our national security is at stake,” Drazkowski said. “It is time to yank her access to America’s highest levels of security access and briefings. Minnesota deserves better, and America demands more.”
Drazkowski’s press release listed these accusations:
TAX FRAUD: On June 6, the CFB discovered that Rep. Omar had filed joint federal tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Ahmed Hirsi, a person who she was not married to in 2014 or 2015. Probable cause exists today and this is a violation of both federal and state law. From 20092017, Rep Omar was married to Ahmed Elmi.
IMMIGRATION FRAUD: Although she has them in her possession, Rep. Omar has refused to turn over her immigration records. Speculation abounds that Rep. Omar may have married Ahmed Elmi in order to commit immigration fraud.
STUDENT LOAN FRAUD: Address records and court records indicate that Rep. Omar lived with both Ahmed Hirsi and Ahmed Elmi while Rep. Omar and Ahmed Elmi attended North Dakota State University. She may have married Ahmed Elmi in order to commit student aid fraud by avoiding the inclusion of the income and assets of her parents in the aid qualification formula.
PERJURY: In her divorce papers seeking service on Ahmed Elmi on August 2, 2017, Rep. Omar repeatedly stated under penalty of perjury that she had not had contact with him since June, 2011 and that his last known location was in London in 2011. Yet a photo posted by Elmi on June 12, 2012 shows him holding her newborn baby at the hospital in Minneapolis. Court documents on July 31, 2012 show that Elmi personally accepted his eviction notice from his Minneapolis apartment. This was within ten blocks of Rep. Omar’s residence.
BIGAMY: Under Minnesota law, bigamy is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. If Rep. Omar claimed joint status in 2014 and 2015 with Mr. Hirsi, then she may face state charges due to her concurrent marriage to Mr. Elmi from 2009-2017.
KICK-BACKS: On July 31, 2018, Rep. Omar returned $2,500 in speaking fees from two Minnesota community colleges whose budgets she oversaw and approved as a member of the Higher Education Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives. These pay-backs were not disclosed until after the prospect of Minnesota House ethics charges against her were discussed while she ran for Congress last summer. The payments were a clear violation of House Rules.
DIVERSION OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS: “On June 6, the CFB found that Rep. Omar had repeatedly used campaign donations to pay for jaunts to Washington, Boston, New York, Chicago, and Florida to boost her national profile,” Rep. Drazkowski said. “She was ordered to repay those funds.”
PERSONAL PROFITEERING: On June 6, the CFB also found that she had used $1,500 of campaign donations to pay for tax preparation services, benefitting her personally. The Board ordered her to pay back the $1,500 for those services.
Drazkowski said, “Rep. Omar also covered up personal financial information that she is required by law to disclose, delaying the disclosure of evidence of direct violations of MN House Rules until after she had won the DFL endorsement for US Congress. This could have been the deciding factor in her eventual victory in her congressional bid and certainly prevented her from being held accountable by the Minnesota House Ethics Committee.”
He said, “If we are going to respect our national security and the rule of law, we need the truth and justice to prevail.”
The revelations come even as it seems someone in the Democratic Party is looking at running an alternative candidate against Omar in the 2020 primary, Battleground State News reported Tuesday. Andrea Jenkins, the Minneapolis City Council Vice President, is one reported potential rival. Former U.S. Sen. Al Franken is another.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.