Ilhan Omar’s “disgusting lies”

Long after it could have any bearing on Ilhan Omar’s pending election to Congress from Minnesota’s Fifth District next month, the AP’s Amy Forliti took a detailed look at the story that Omar had married her brother in 2009 for some dishonest purpose and only recently went through the exercise of divorcing him. The story is “Minnesota House hopeful calls marriage, fraud claims ‘lies.’” Omar actually called the claims “disgusting lies.”

Omar refused to be interviewed by the AP for the story. Omar further refused “to provide the AP with a list of her siblings[.]” Indeed, Omar refused to facilitate the AP’s investigation of the claims in any way. Attempts to communicate with Omar’s ex-husband, now in London, also proved unavailing (“The AP’s efforts to speak with Elmi were unsuccessful”). This is consistent with Omar’s practice since I first began writing about the story in 2016.

Reading Forliti’s AP story last week, I drew adverse inferences from Omar’s refusal to respond or be interviewed. I have done so from the first time I asked Omar about the story in 2016 and received an offensive non-response response on her behalf from a local criminal defense attorney. I quoted the attorney’s non-response response verbatim in my 2016 City Journal column recounting the story up to that point in “The curious case of Ilhan Omar.”

Without explicitly saying so, Forliti’s AP story retraces the steps Preya Samsundar and I took to look into the claims in 2016. I think that Forliti’s story leaves the claims roughly where Preya Samsundar and I left them, though Forliti’s story carries the imprimatur of a mainstream media organ.

PJ Media’s David Steinberg has taken on the case this year. Unlike Forliti, however, he has actually advanced the story. Steinberg’s work supports our conclusion that Omar married her brother in 2009 for some dishonest purpose. Today Steinberg reports “Official School Records Support Claims That Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Married Her Brother.”

Working from New York, Steinberg has produced a truly dogged piece of investigative journalism that puts us all to shame. As is her custom, Omar has declined to respond to Steinberg’s inquiries. See the email to her that he has reproduced in his story. Perhaps there is some misunderstanding. To say the least, an explanation is called for.

Following the special Fifth District DFL endorsing convention this past Father’s Day, Democrats had a competitive field of candidates to choose among in the August 14 primary. The Star Tribune did absolutely nothing to give Fifth District readers — the heart of their readership — any relevant information to make an informed selection among the candidates in the DFL primary.

The Fifth District being one-party territory — Osama bin Laden could win election on the DFL line in the Fifth District — Omar’s election is now a done deal. One can only hope that someone in a position of responsibility at the Star Tribune will be so kind as to take note of Steinberg’s work and hold a soul-searching public reckoning that accounts for their dereliction in this matter.

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