Amid increasing evidence that Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., married her brother in an apparent illegal immigration scheme, a Minnesota state lawmaker is calling for a federal ethics inquiry into the congresswoman.
State Rep. Steve Drazkowski made the plea Tuesday in a letter to U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, a Minnesota Democrat also serving her first term in Congress, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported
Drazkowski cited a state agency’s finding this month that Omar violated state campaign finance rules and filed federal taxes in 2014 and 2015 with her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, while she was legally married to but separated from another man, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the paper said.
At a news conference in St. Paul, Drazkowski said Omar “appears to be a serial career criminal and should not have access to our nation’s highest secrets and intelligence.”
It was Drazkowski who filed the complaint with the Minnesota Campaign and Public Disclosure Board that resulted in a $500 civil fine for violating campaign finance law and a $3,469 fine for improperly using campaign funds to fix the problem.
As WND reported in March, when Omar ran for a state legislative seat in 2016 and Congress last year, she was confronted with charges that she had committed immigration fraud by marrying her brother. Omar vehemently denies the claim, and her suppression of records has hindered any official verification. Nevertheless, investigations by conservative media outlets such as Powerline, PJ Media and Alpha News have uncovered evidence that Omar has refused to rebut. She and her office have charged only that it’s a private matter and inquiries from “the right” are merely motivated by “Islamophobia.”
However, on Sunday, the Star Tribune reported investigative documents released by the state agency “have given fresh life to lingering questions about the marital history of Rep. Ilhan Omar and whether she once married a man — possibly her own brother — to skirt immigration laws.”
Along with documenting her illegal filing of tax returns with a man who was not her legal husband, the new documents obtained by the Star Tribune reveal the Omar campaign’s efforts in 2018 to keep the story of her marriage to Elmi out of the media.
Omar spokesman Jeremy Slevin issued a statement Friday to the Minneapolis daily insisting the questions about her personal life are illegitimate.
“Since before she was elected to office, Ilhan has been the subject of conspiracy theories and false accusations about her personal life. Emboldened by a president who openly treats immigrants, refugees and Muslims as invaders, these attacks often stem from the presumption that Ilhan — like others who share those identities — is somehow illegitimate or not fully American,” Slevin said.
“Ilhan has shared more than most public officials ever do about the details of her personal life — even when it is personally painful,” he continued. “Whether by colluding with right-wing outlets to go after Muslim elected officials or hounding family members, legitimate media outlets have a responsibility not to fan the flames of hate. Continuing to do so is not only demeaning to Ilhan, but to her entire family.”
No idea how to find Elmi?
The marriage controversy began in 2016 one week after Omar became the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature when an anonymous post appeared on a Somali community discussion site. It claimed the man to whom she was married at the time, Elmi, was her brother. The Powerline blog followed up, asking whether Omar was married to two men, Elmi and Hirsi, the father of her three children.
The Star Tribune examined Omar’s marital records, which showed she had been legally married to Elmi since 2009 but never had been legally married to Hirsi. Omar has explained that she married Hirsi in 2002 in their “faith tradition,” but not legally. In 2008, she has claimed, she divorced Hirsi in their faith tradition and one year later married Elmi legally. Then she divorced Elmi in their faith tradition in 2011 and reconciled with Hirsi in 2012, filing joint tax returns with him in 2014 and 2015 though they were not legally married. In 2017, Omar was granted a legal divorce from Elmi and then legally married Hirsi in 2018.
The Minneapolis paper concluded, however, there was no evidence that Elmi is Omar’s brother.
But veteran reporter David Steinberg, who was with PJ Media when he began his investigation, has found considerable evidence.
His most recent discovery, this week, is based on Omar swearing under penalty of perjury in 2017 while divorcing Elmi that she hadn’t seen him since 2011 and didn’t know anyone who could help her contact him.
However, Steinberg discovered hidden code on a website that indicates Elmi designed and set up the website for Omar’s sister, Sahra Noor, and lives in the same city, Nairobi, Kenya.
Steinberg previously found evidence that Omar had considerable contact with Elmi from 2011 to 2015 via social media, including an Instagram photo of the two together in 2014 in London, where Elmi was living. In posts with family photos, Omar refers to Elmi as her children’s uncle.
Steinberg also has found documentation that while Elmi was attending high school in St. Paul, Minnesota, he lived at the home of a man named Nur Said Elmi Mohamed, who turns out to be Omar’s father.
The reporter said he has witness records of people stating that Mohamed also is the father of Ahmed Elmi.
“Most of what I have published has been ignored,” Steinberg told Glenn Beck in a radio interview in March. “In the one or two times that she has been confronted [by establishment media reporters] nobody has brought up that.”
In addition, Steinberg found that from 2009 to 2011, both Elmi and Omar were attending North Dakota State University and living at the same address. But Omar’s first husband, Hirsi, also was living at the address, along with their two children, and a subsequent address to which they moved.
When the issue came up in 2017 during her run for Congress, Omar filed for divorce from Elmi. She claimed in a sworn statement she had not seen him since 2011 after searching in vain.
“Every single question she asked on that form is a provable lie, a provable instance of perjury,” Steinberg told Beck, counting “nine lies.”
Steinberg said he contacted Elmi in 2016.
“He admits being the person in the photo but says he was just at some event, and he doesn’t know who the woman standing next to him is,” the reporter said.
Steinberg said he ruled out there being another person with the name Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. There was no one with that name, around his age, in the United States or England, he said.
Omar denies ‘absurd and offensive’ claims
During Omar’s run for Congress in 2018, Republicans in her 5th District launched a website presenting evidence that she married her brother.
The Minnesota Republicans said they had turned over documents to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota “implicating Ilhan Omar in multiple state and federal felonies, including tax fraud, immigration fraud, healthcare fraud and FAFSA fraud.”
In August 2016, Omar’s campaign issued a “response from Omar” statement on her website:
In 2002, when I was 19 years old, Ahmed Hirsi (whose name before he received citizenship was Ahmed Aden), the father of my children and love of my life, and I, applied for a marriage license, but we never finalized the application and thus were never legally married. In 2008, we decided to end our relationship in our faith tradition after reaching an impasse in our life together.
I entered into a relationship with a British citizen, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, and married him legally in 2009. Our relationship ended in 2011 and we divorced in our faith tradition. After that, he moved home to England. I have yet to legally divorce Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but am in the process of doing so. Insinuations that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is my brother are absurd and offensive.
Since 2011, I am happy to say that I have reconciled with Ahmed Hirsi, we have married in our faith tradition and are raising our family together. Like all families, we have had our ups and downs but we are proud to have come through it together.
In October 2018, the Associated Press asked Omar for immigration records and birth certificates. She refused to provide the immigration records and claimed birth certificates were lost during the Somali civil war.
Curiously, she also refused to provide AP with a list of her siblings. A Freedom of Information Act request for immigration records was returned to AP, explaining Omar or Elmi would need to authorize the release.
Omar told AP for the October 2018 article: “We choose not to further the narrative of those who oppose us.”
Omar was a child when her family fled Somalia amid civil war in 1991. She spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya and immigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1995. She became a citizen in 2000 at age 17.
The Obama administration did not investigate the claims, according to an Aug. 22, 2016, letter to her attorney at the time, AP reported. Asked if the Trump administration was investigating, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said it’s against Justice Department policy to publicly confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
AP: ‘Possibility of a connection’
The left-leaning, fact-check site Snopes examined the claim that Omar married her brother and concluded it was “unverified.”
“We found no public records or credible sources contradicting Omar’s account of her past, nor any substantive evidence corroborating claims that Elmi is her brother or that their marriage was otherwise fraudulent,” Snopes said. “In addition, some of the claims offered in support of the rumor don’t seem to add up.”
However, the Associated Press noted the discrepancies in Elmi’s claim that he was the man in the 2014 Instagram photos but didn’t know Omar.
AP said there were “several coincidences that suggest the possibility of a connection between Omar and the man who claimed he doesn’t know her.”