A message from the Star Tribune [updated]

I wrote Star Tribune reporter Maya Rao to ask if there was any chance she would be looking into the story involving the apparent marriage license issued to Ilhan Omar and a man identified as her brother. I couldn’t get an answer from the Omar campaign about it. Instead, I got an offensive nonresponse by way of Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Jean Brandl. In my email message I tried to encourage Ms. Rao by suggesting she would get a more substantive response than I did.

Late this morning Ms. Rao sent me the following message:


I have been out of the office and the best person to contact is my colleague J. Patrick Coolican, who cited Power Line’s report in his political newsletter this morning and is looking into it.



I dug up Coolican’s newsletter online this morning and read it, but I am unable to find it now. At this point I am writing from memory.

Following the Omar campaign’s lead, Coolican raised the nonexistent Trump angle to the story. He didn’t seem to make anything of the campaign’s handoff to a criminal defense attorney. Indeed, he raised the possibility that it merely represented a stray misjudgment.

I take all of these as bad signs. However, as Coolican pursues the story, I highly doubt the Omar campaign will feel free to disparage him personally or send him away with the same runaround I received, so I look forward to seeing what he comes up with.

UPDATED: I have spoken this afternoon with Star Tribune reporter Patrick Coolican. He tells me his story on this matter will be posted online tonight. KMSP 9 has posted a story on it here.

As I understand things, and I am not sure that I do, a new spokesman for Omar’s campaign explains that the first marriage certificate was never executed and has apparently now been scrubbed from the records. Coolican thought it named the guy whom the campaign holds out as her husband but KMSP 9 says that is not the case.

The second marriage certificte was executed and resulted in a legal marriage to a man who is neither her brother nor the man whom she holds out as her husband. Who is the man identified as her legal husband? The campaign apparently isn’t saying anything about him. All is clear as mud.

I will separately post something on Coolican’s story when it appears online. A reader kindly provides a link to Coolican’s newsletter noting the story online this morning here. My original comment about Hoolican’s use of the “illusive” was petty at best and I have apologized to him for it. I should add that in his newsletter this morning Coolican wears his cynicism on his sleeve in commenting on the Omar campaign’s nonresponse response to me. In my book Coolican deserves credit for it, not my criticism.

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