Ilhan Omar under probe for using campaign funds for personal use

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House Rep. Ilhan Omar is being investigated by Minnesota state election officials for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses ]Photo: AP]

Minnesota election officials have reportedly completed their investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by controversial House Rep. Ilhan Omar.

The Somali-born Democrat, who has been the subject of headlines in recent months for her comments about Israel, allegedly spent $6,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to the United States Congress this past November, is alleged to have used campaign money to pay a divorce lawyer as well as to take trips to Boston and Estonia, according to Sinclair.

The allegations, which were made last year by Republican state lawmaker Steve Drazkowski, have been probed by the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.
The board is expected to issue a ruling on the investigation sometime within the next month to six weeks, according to Sinclair.

In the summer of 2016, Omar paid legal fees to attorney Carla Kjellberg, who represented her in the dissolution of her marriage.

But Omar has denied the accusation that she used campaign funds for her divorce, saying that the money she paid to Kjellberg was reimbursement for crisis management services that she received during her run for the Minnesota state House, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.

This is the third time that accusations of misusing campaign funds were brought forward by Republican state legislator Steve Drazkowski.

In his first complaint, Drazkowski accused Omar of improperly accepting a speaking fee from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which is a violation of state ethics rules.

Omar paid the colleges back $2,500, according to Drazkowski.

‘I had observed a long pattern,’ Drazkowski told Sinclair.
‘Representative 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.’

Omar provoked outrage in February when she suggested that supporters of Israel were urging lawmakers to have 'allegiance to a foreign country'.

The first-term Minnesota Congresswoman's repeated criticisms of Israel and a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington have been widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

Omar, a former Somali refugee, was assailed by Democrats and Republicans alike for the comments.

Several lawmakers expressed outrage, warning that Omar was peddling in age-old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews having dual allegiances.

She later apologized for the comment but Republicans have kept citing it as evidence of creeping bigotry.

President Donald Trump, who routinely cites his support of Israel, said: 'The Democrats have very much proven to be anti-Israel.

'There's no question about that. And it's a disgrace. I mean, I don't know what's happened to them but they are totally anti-Israel. Frankly, I think they're anti-Jewish.'

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