Divorce filing claims woman’s husband left her for Ilhan Omar

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks during a news conference to introduce college affordability legislation outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 24, 2019. A divorce petition filed in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday alleges the congresswoman is in a romantic relationship with a campaign consultant.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images file

Updated: 6:47 p.m. | Posted: 5:46 p.m.

A Washington, D.C., doctor says in a divorce filing that her husband left her for Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, adding to the intense spotlight that has grown on the first-term DFLer’s personal life.

Beth Mynett is married to Timothy Mynett, a nationally known political consultant who has worked for Omar’s campaign and been paid tens of thousands of dollars.

“Defendant told Plaintiff that he was romantically involved with and in love with another woman, Ilhan Omar, who serves as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota,” says the divorce petition, filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Superior Court.

Omar denied the allegation, saying, “No, I’m not,” in answer to the question if she’s separated from her husband and dating someone in an interview with WCCO Tuesday evening.

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The petition states that Timothy Mynett moved out of the family home in April. Beth Mynett’s attorney did not respond to a request for more information, and a request from MPR News to Omar’s congressional spokesperson for comment went unanswered.

Timothy Mynett couldn’t be immediately reached for a response to the allegations in the divorce filing.

His wife’s court petition asks for primary custody of the couple’s 13-year-old son, citing Mynett’s “sporadic” involvement with the boy.

“Due to his extensive travel and long work hours… Defendants more recent travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than his actual work commitments,” says the divorce complaint.

It also suggests that threats against Omar represent a danger to the couple’s son, alleging the boy has joined Mynett and Omar, who has “gathered a plethora of media attention, along with death threats, one rising to the level of arresting the known would be assassin that same week.”

The complaint also notes that Beth Mynett, 55, the medical director for the D.C. Department of Corrections, helped her 38-year-old husband establish his political consulting firm, and that “Defendant is choosing to end the marriage at a time when he is poised to enter his highest earning years, and to abandon his wife, who is much closer to the end of her professional career and is left to face a financially insecure future.”

Omar’s campaign reported to the Federal Election Commission it has paid Mynett’s Washington, D.C.-based firm, E Street Group, more than $160,000 since the first of the year with nearly $22,000 of that total spent on travel expenses. Mynett defined the firm as providing “national progressive strategies for candidates, nonprofits and advocacy efforts,’’ on his LinkedIn profile.

The divorce filing was first reported by the New York Post, which also published a number of photographs of Omar and Timothy Mynett in public.

Omar was elected to Congress last year to succeed fellow Democrat Keith Ellison. She’d served a single term in the Minnesota House before that, knocking veteran DFLer Phyllis Kahn from the Minneapolis seat she had held for decades.

Omar has since become a political lightning rod, making remarks about Israeli political influence in Washington that many considered anti-Semitic and controversial remarks about the 2001 terror attacks that critics say minimized the terrorist intent of the attacks.

Opponents have also charged Omar improperly wed her brother as part of an immigration scheme. Omar has called that allegation “false.”

More recently, conservative critics have accused her of improperly filing joint tax returns when she wasn’t legally married to her partner and of making false statements in her own divorce filing.

When asked about the allegations in an interview with MPR News Monday, Omar said she would stop responding to them.

“It doesn’t matter how often I deny it and what I do, people will still ask for more or insinuate more things,” she said. “And so I have made a decision not to give it any more air and have it stay in the garbage where it belongs and continue to focus on representing the beautiful district that I represent, giving back to the country that has given me so much.”

At the time, Mynett had not yet filed for divorce or put her allegations in the legal record.

The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board also ruled in June that Omar had improperly used political funds to pay for personal out-of-state travel and tax filing assistance. The board ruled she had to pay back her state campaign committee more than $3,000.

The Minneapolis congresswoman closed her state campaign account last week and reported personally reimbursing her campaign about $3,500 for expenses that came under scrutiny from regulators.

Omar has also been the subject of withering attacks from President Trump, who suggested this summer that she wasn’t a loyal American, that she was unfit for office and should leave the country for her native Somalia.

She immigrated to the U.S. in 1995, as a child refugee as her family fled civil war in Somalia. Omar traces her political involvement to her grandfather’s participation in local politics in Minneapolis.