Ilhan Omar files for divorce amid affair allegations

October 8, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is getting divorced. Citing “an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship,” the Minnesota congresswoman filed her divorce papers Friday amid rumors that she had an affair with a Democratic consultant.

Omar previously denied that there was any trouble in her marriage to Ahmed Hirsi when confronted by a reporter in August.

Ilhan Omar files for divorce

The New York Post first reported the affair rumors in August after Beth Mynett, a Washington, D.C. based lawyer, claimed in divorce papers that her husband Tim Mynett had cheated on her with Omar and confessed his love for the congresswoman. Mynett has claimed that his wife made the story up as part of a “negative campaign” to “ruin his career.”

Omar filed for divorce on her 37th birthday, weeks after she denied having an affair or being estranged from her husband, telling TV station WCCO that she had “no interest in allowing the conversation about my personal life to continue.” The Democrat has repeatedly dodged questions about the alleged affair and other personal controversies, including allegations that she married her brother, claims she has called “disgusting lies.”

“As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family. For years, Ilhan and Ahmed have been the object of speculation and innuendo from political opponents and the media,” Omar’s attorney, Jaime Driggs said in a statement Monday. “This has taken a significant toll on Ilhan, Ahmed, and their three children. Just like any other family navigating this kind of transition, Ilhan wishes to have their privacy respected for themselves and their children and will not be commenting any further.”

Asked whether Omar had an affair, the attorney simply referred reporters back to the official statement, the AP reported.

Omar married Hirsi, the father of her three children, in an Islamic ceremony in 2002, but the couple didn’t marry legally until 2018. Before her legal marriage to Hirsi, Omar claimed to have separated from him in 2008 and married her second husband, Ahmed Elmi, in 2009.

Omar has said that she divorced Elmi in her faith tradition, but not legally, in 2011 and got back together with Hirsi, who she eventually married after legally divorcing Elmi in 2017. Her complicated marital history has been scrutinized over allegations that Elmi is her brother; according to some reports, Omar never actually separated from Hirsi during the time she was married to Elmi.

Controversy over campaign expenditures, taxes

Omar’s campaign has paid thousands of dollars, including over $20,000 in travel expenses, to Mynett’s political consultancy group, the E Street Group. Conservative groups have filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Omar was financing her affair with campaign expenditures.

Beth Mynett claimed in divorce papers that Tim’s “more recent travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than with his actual work commitments” since, by her telling, her husband left her in April. Since 2018, Omar’s campaign has paid almost $230,000 to Mynett’s consultancy, including $21,547 for travel expenses between April and June.

Omar was previously rebuked by Minnesota campaign finance officials for campaign finance violations dating from when she was a state representative and ordered to pay restitution.

The Minnesota campaign finance board also found that Omar filed taxes jointly with Hirsi in 2014 and 2015, when she was still married to Elmi.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.