Rep. Ilhan Omar under scrutiny over joint tax filings

Findings of a campaign finance investigation reveal another possible infraction.
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After being found to have committed campaign finance violations while running for the Minnesota House, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is under more scrutiny for potential state and federal tax violations.

The campaign finance violation findings released this week contained details that led to suggestions the 5th District representative may have broken tax laws.

That's because it noted that she filed joint tax returns with her now-husband Ahmed Hirsi in 2014 and 2015, with whom she was married "in the faith tradition" at the time.

However, they didn't marry legally in Minnesota until January 2018, suggesting that her joint returns in 2014 and 2015 were in violation of state and federal law.

While some states recognize "common law" marriages, Minnesota does not, while the IRS only allows you to file joint tax returns if you're legally married.

At the time, Omar was technically still married to another man, British national Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, from whom she had been separated since 2011. Their marriage wasn't officially dissolved until 2017.

In a short statement issued to the Pioneer Press, a spokesman for Rep. Omar said: "All of Rep. Omar’s tax filings are fully compliant with all applicable tax law."

Rep. Omar was fined $500 and ordered to reimburse her campaign almost $3,500 after complaints were submitted to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board by Minnesota Rep. Steve Drazkowski.

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The board did not substantiate some of the violations alleged by Drazkowki, including a claim she used $2,250 of campaign money to pay a law firm to handle her marriage dissolution.

However, it did find that she improperly used campaign money to pay a law firm to look into the joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 as part of a crisis response.

It also ruled that she had violated campaign finance rules for using the campaign to reimburse several flights.

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