Ilhan Omar may have committed felony in failing to report book deal income, report claims

Two national watchdog groups want the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate.

Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders in Las Vegas in February 2020. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The Daily Caller has broken a story claiming that Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota may have committed a felony after allegedly failing to report income and assets.

House members are required to disclose any income above $200, but Omar’s financial disclosures from 2018, 2019, and 2020 include no information on a book deal valued at up to $250,000.

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) wrote a letter of complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics calling for an investigation into Omar’s alleged omissions.

“Representative Omar’s apparent disclosure omissions and misreporting violate House ethics rules, the Ethics in Government act, and possibly U.S.C. 1001, a felony with penalties up to five years in prison for making false statements in a matter before the legislative branch,” the complaint reads.

Omar’s book, a memoir titled “This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman,” was published in May 2020. Not only did the NLPC point out she “failed to properly disclose assets and income […] with respect to a book contract she entered into in 2019 and any royalties she may have received from the subsequent sale of the book,” the group believes she “grossly undervalued” her husband’s stake in his “lucrative” consulting firm, E Street Group.

Omar faced widespread criticism last year when it was revealed that her campaign paid E Street Group nearly $3 million for various services. The congresswoman announced in November that she was cutting financial ties with her husband’s business, even though the relationship was approved by a “top FEC campaign attorney.”

The NLPC also speculated she may not have disclosed any bank accounts exceeding a $5,000 balance, which are required to be declared as Schedule A assets.

“While she did report that her and her husband’s four tax-deferred retirement accounts have a combined value of between $3,003 and $46,000, it strains credulity that neither she nor her husband or jointly have not met the $5,000 threshold in combined non-retirement accounts, particularly when she reports her husband as receiving up to $1,000,000 in income from his lucrative consulting practices,” the complaint reads.

A spokesperson for Omar dismissed the complaint as a “completely political document” produced by a “far-right group,” according to the Daily Caller.

A second watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, is also seeking an investigation.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.