As Americans for Public Trust has previously reported, Members are required to file annual financial disclosures. These disclosures provide the public much needed transparency regarding their elected officials’ financial holdings and ensure that constituents are able to view the actions of their representative in light of any potential financial conflicts of interest. Federal law requires these disclosures to be “full and complete,” which is also required by guidance and rules from the House. Therefore, compliance must be strictly maintained.
In 2019, five members of Congress reported having no assets. In at least one instance, public information readily disputes the information disclosed in the report. In May 2019, Representative Omar filed a financial disclosure report covering 2018 as a new filer. Representative Omar did not disclose any assets in either filing. However, according to 2017 court proceedings, her assets include a Minnesota PERA Pension, as well as checking and savings accounts.
Financial Disclosure Reports also require that Members list sources of income. On her candidate financial disclosure filed in 2018, Representative Omar listed sources of income of $2,700 from VoteRunLead, $500 from Bowman and Brooke, and $10,000 in spousal income from Midwest Reliable Transportation LLC. However, none of these three sources of 2018 income appear on her financial disclosure filed in 2019.
Further, Members must also disclose any positions that they have held on their financial disclosure. In her 2018 filing, Representative Omar listed a position with the WOW Network. However, she omitted other positions that should have been listed. These include the State of Minnesota, which was later listed on her 2019 report, Director of the Legal Rights Center Inc., and Director for the Confederation of Somali Community in MN. Both of these organizations listed Representative Omar as a Director on their 2017 Form 990. These positions were not reported as required by law.
In summary, while federal law and House rules require disclosure of assets, income, and held positions, Representative Ilhan Omar has failed to adhere to these requirements. She has demonstrated either blatant indifference for the law or a willful desire to conceal an accurate picture of her finances. In either situation, Representative Omar’s actions fall short of what is required by law and expected as proper conduct of Members.