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Two Wisconsin GOP reps. introduce ‘OMAR Act’ to combat ‘laundering’ campaign funds to spouses

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Two Republican congressmen from Wisconsin on Friday introduced legislation that would bar candidates from office for “laundering” their campaign funds to enrich their spouses called the Oversight for Members And Relatives Act or “OMAR Act.”

The bill’s acronym references Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D), who, according to a Fox News report in November, hired the political consulting firm of her husband, Tim Mynnett, during the most recent election cycle and paid it about $2.8 million.

RELATED: Rep. Omar’s campaign paid husband’s firm around $2.8M: Report

RELATED: ‘E Street Group’ Owned by Ilhan Omar’s Husband Received 500K in Bail Out Money

In a press release emailed by Rep. Tom Tiffany’s (R-Wis.) office, Tiffany was quoted as saying: “For too long, lawmakers of both political parties have engaged in the ethically dubious practice of pocketing campaign funds by ‘hiring’ their spouses and laundering the money as campaign related expenses.”

In that same press release, the other U.S. representative who helped introduce the bill, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), said “[l]oopholes that allow members of Congress to funnel campaign funds to their spouses are despicable and erode trust in our government,” adding that “[t]here’s simply no logical reason for allowing this practice to continue, and I’m proud to join Rep. Tiffany in this common-sense effort to ensure members can’t profit off running for Congress.”

The bill, according to the press release, is based on a bipartisan proposal introduced in the 110th Congress by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), with the release saying that Schiff’s proposal was endorsed at that time by members of the current House Democrat leadership team.

“Regardless of political party, we should all be able to agree that running for political office shouldn’t be part of a family enrichment scheme,” Tiffany also said. “Passing the OMAR Act will help restore public confidence in Congress and stop politicians from effectively pocketing their campaign funds.”

Back in December, SaraACarter.com also reported that the firm co-owned by Mynnett, “E Street Group,” received nearly $135,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and $500,000 in Economic Injury Disaster loans, according to public records.

The introduction of the OMAR Act comes as Republicans in Congress are pushing again for removing the progressive representative from her committees after a majority of the Democrat-controlled House voted Thursday to strip GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) of her committee assignments.

Greene in the past had expressed support for and promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory as well as supporting violence against Democratic lawmakers, among other incendiary statements. Prior to Thursday’s vote, Greene said she regretted those statements but did not apologize.

Back in 2019, Republicans called for Omar to be stripped of her committee assignments after making a number of antisemitic statements. While the GOP effort failed, the House at the time did successfully pass a resolution condemning “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry,” though without mentioning Omar by name.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Elections

BREAKING: Hunter Biden Found Guilty on All Three Felony Charges

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Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, was found guilty on all three felony charges on Tuesday. After a six-day trial, a jury concluded that the first son lied on a federal gun-purchase background-check form by falsely claiming he was not a drug addict. The jury deliberated for three hours, starting Monday afternoon following the conclusion of closing arguments.

Hunter Biden was convicted on two charges for lying about his crack-cocaine addiction on federal gun paperwork when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver on October 12, 2018. Additionally, he was found guilty of a third charge for possessing the firearm while addicted to crack cocaine.

According to National Review, the criminal trial exposed deep rifts within the Biden family. Hunter’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, and his deceased brother Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden, testified against him. This created an emotional divide within the family, especially when Naomi Biden, the eldest daughter of Buhle and Hunter, testified for the defense, pitting mother against daughter.

Federal prosecutors Derek Hines and Leo Wise led the case against Hunter Biden as part of special counsel David Weiss’s legal team. Throughout the trial, Weiss was present in the courtroom, often seen conversing and eating chocolates during breaks.

Prosecutors presented what they described as “overwhelming evidence” of Hunter Biden’s drug addiction at the time he completed the gun purchase. This evidence included witness testimony, text messages, videos, images, bank records, and excerpts from Hunter’s memoir. Key testimonies from Hallie Biden, gun salesman Gordon Cleveland, and ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan were crucial in establishing Hunter Biden’s pattern of drug use and his decision to lie about his addiction.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell argued that Hunter Biden’s behavior had improved around the time of the gun purchase, asserting that he did not “knowingly” lie on the federal paperwork. However, the testimonies of Kestan and Cleveland, along with Hunter Biden’s own admissions of drug use in texts and memoir excerpts, posed significant challenges to the defense’s narrative.

Throughout the trial, Lowell conducted extensive cross-examinations of the prosecution’s witnesses and disputed the context of the evidence presented. However, Leo Wise’s cross-examination of Naomi Biden, where he scrutinized her text messages with her father from October 2018, proved to be a pivotal moment, undermining her defense testimony.

Before the verdict, President Biden stated he would respect the jury’s decision and would not pardon his son if convicted. At the trial’s onset, President Biden issued a statement expressing pride in his son’s efforts to overcome his drug addiction.

Hunter Biden is scheduled to face another trial in September on nine federal tax charges related to his alleged failure to pay over $1.4 million in taxes over four years.

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