New Documents Shed Light On Ilhan Omar’s Marriage To Her Alleged Brother
Newly discovered official documents released on Sunday suggest that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) lived with her current husband Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi during the entire time that she was legally married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the man that critics allege is her brother.
The Washington Examiner reports that Omar tells her martial history the following way:
2002: Omar married Hirsi in a faith ceremony, but never legally married.
2008: Omar and Hirsi “ decided to end our relationship in our faith tradition.”
Early 2009: Omar legally married Elmi.
2011: Omar and Elmi religiously divorced.
2011: Omar and Hirsi reconciled.
2017: Omar and Elmi belatedly obtained a legal divorce.
2018: Omar and Hirsi legally married.
However, Omar's timeline of events appears to conflict with newly uncovered documents from The Washington Examiner's Tiana Lowe, who notes that the evidence suggests that Omar has always been in a marital relationship with Hirsi, even when she was married to Elmi.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Public documents, for instance, place Hirsi and Omar living in a home together in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis in 2009, the year Elmi and Omar married, and two years before Omar claims she reconciled with Hirsi.
In legal documents, including 24 traffic violations and misdemeanor charges against Hirsi obtained by the Washington Examiner, Hirsi listed his address at a single Cedar Riverside address consistently in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Four minor cases against Omar show that in 2007, 2009, and 2012, she listed her address at the same Cedar Riverside address.
Specifically, local courts listed this address for both Omar and Hirsi in separate traffic violations in mid-2009, the year Omar and Elmi married.
Questions about Omar's multiple marriages, and whether she married her alleged brother, surfaced again this month after an investigation found that she illegally used campaign funds in 2016 and 2017 and thus violated campaign finance laws. During the first week of June, the Star Tribune reported:
The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board has ordered U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar to personally reimburse her own campaign account $3,469.23 and to pay a civil penalty of $500 for violating state campaign finance rules dating to her time as a member of the state House.
The amount that the Minnesota Democrat must repay represents what the board determined is the total amount of campaign funds that Omar used in 2016 and 2017 for purposes not permitted by state law.
That includes a payment of $1,500 to a law firm that, her lawyer testified, was related to some corrections made to her personal tax returns that were discovered as part of an inquiry into her financial records by a “crisis committee.” That committee was set up to respond to never-proven allegations that Omar had married her own brother as part of an “immigration scheme,” in the words of the board’s report on the matter
On Saturday, the Star Tribune noted that the documents have given fresh life to questions about whether Omar married a man that critics say is her brother.
The Star Tribune reported:
The questions surfaced again this month in a state probe of campaign finance violations showing that Omar filed federal taxes in 2014 and 2015 with her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, while she was still legally married to but separated from Elmi...
...Since the recent findings of the campaign finance board that discovered Omar had improperly used campaign money to pay a lawyer to fix her tax filings, the Star Tribune searched public records — including available databases, the marriage and divorce filing, business licenses, university records and other documents — and could find little publicly available information about Elmi. The search of records could neither conclusively confirm nor rebut the allegation that he is Omar’s sibling.
Sent a list of questions and a request to talk to her siblings and father, Omar declined to do so. Hirsi did not reply to multiple calls, texts and e-mails. Social media posts indicate Elmi is in Africa. He did not respond to multiple e-mails.
Omar spokesman Jeremy Slevin said in a statement to the Star Tribune that questions about Omar's marriage to her alleged brother are not legitimate.
"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 wrote. "Ilhan has shared more than most public officials ever do about the details of her personal life — even when it is personally painful. 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."
The Star Tribune added:
The Star Tribune has sought to authenticate some of the most egregious allegations, using public records and available social media posts, which make up the bulk of the case against her.
Some of the original social media accounts linking Elmi to Omar after their split in 2011 appear to have been removed, and documents verifying the family relationships of refugees from war-torn countries with limited government record-keeping are notoriously hard to obtain, even by U.S. immigration authorities.
Omar declined to make her tax and immigration records available for this report.
The Washington Examiner noted that local media reports also cast doubt on Omar and Hirsi breaking up. One of the most serious allegations against Omar is that she lied under the penalty of perjury during divorce proceedings that she did not know where Elmi was and had not contacted him since their divorce in 2011.
The Washington Examiner added:
She also said that she had no means of contacting him, and the district court judge wrote in the divorce decree that Elmi “has not signed a declaration of non-paternity as [Omar] has had no contact with him since before the child was conceived.” Thus the court granted her request to serve Elmi with divorce papers “by alternate means.” Once a week, for three weeks in a row during August and September of 2017, Omar published public summons to Elmi in a local newspaper, Finance and Commerce.
Contradicting this claim are images from Elmi’s social media account published by a Minnesota web outlet called Alpha News, which show Elmi with Ilwad on her day of birth.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported:
[Omar] also claimed that her attempts to find [Elmi] include unsuccessfully searching on social media — but he has been on Twitter since 2012 and Facebook since 2007 and is also on LinkedIn and other platforms.
Lying on a sworn form is perjury and each charge carries five years in prison, according to Minnesota law. Questions have been raised about the accuracy of approximately six statements on the sworn form.
The Associated Press confronted Omar in October 2018 about the allegations that she married her brother, which she called "disgusting lies," and allegations about the now-proven campaign finance violations, which she said at the time were politically motivated. The AP reported:
Omar broadly denied the allegations in a statement to The Associated Press, but declined to provide documents or answer specific questions when pressed.
To this point, Omar has not provided records or answered detailed questions from any news organization that could clear her of the accusation that she married her alleged brother.
This article has been updated to include additional reporting.