Ilhan Omar: The deep meaning of “no comment”

The congeries of scandalous stories about Rep. Ilhan Omar deriving from Omar’s affair with Tim Mynett has emerged in the Minnesota media only this week. Her blatant lies about the obvious and her refusal to comment nevertheless seem to have had an awakening effect.

Yesterday the National Legal and Policy Center filed a Federal Election Commission complaint alleging that Omar’s campaign had paid Mynett’s travel expenses for her, ah, personal purposes. The Star Tribune reports here. The NLPC complaint provides a legal framework within which to address the tabloid features of Omar’s current escapades. Let the frenzy begin.

Permit me this digression. It reminds me of the effect that our 2016 report on Omar’s plural marriages had in August 2016. The frenzy that time was killed within a matter of days by an inaccurate FOX 9 story that the Office of then United States Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger had requested an investigation into Omar’s immigration status. A call to Luger from criminal attorney Jean Brandl on Omar’s behalf prompted Luger to issue a letter denying that Omar was under investigation.

This year I wrote Luger to ask him if he had ever sent out other such letters and what he had looked at before he issued the letter. He promptly advised me that he declined to answer that question. I also asked current United States Attorney Erica MacDonald if I can get one of those letters. The answer, as you might have anticipated, was no. I summarized all this with links in “Loose threads in the curious case (4).” End of digression.

FOX9 reporter Theo Keith is among those in the local media aggressively pursuing recent developments in Omar’s case. Keith’s story yesterday is posted under the headline “Ilhan Omar dismisses ‘stupid questions’ about alleged affair, use of campaign funds” (video below).

Responding to a request for comment on current developments, Omar asserted: “They’re stupid questions.” Omar posed a rhetorical question: “Do you understand what ‘no comment’ means?” Keith notes that an aide later boxed him into a door to keep him and other reporters away from Omar as she left an event at a north Minneapolis grocery store.

Does anybody really know what “no comment” means? In Ilhan Omar’s world, it means it’s time to give Ben Goldfarb a call and work up a statement alleging bigotry and invoking her “faith tradition.”

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