MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump is calling for an investigation of Rep. Ilhan Omar after a right-wing group known for its controversial videos claims it has evidence of voter harvesting linked to Omar.
The video from the group Project Veritas shows a man driving around Minneapolis in July with what he claims are hundreds of absentee ballots for then Minneapolis City Council candidate Jamal Osman. The video was released Sunday night and Trump repeatedly tweeted about it.
This is totally illegal. Hope that the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota has this, and other of her many misdeeds, under serious review??? If not, why not??? We will win Minnesota because of her, and law enforcement. Saved Minneapolis & Iron O Range! https://t.co/yete31P680
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2020
The video presents community activist Omar Jamal claiming, without offering proof, that Omar is paying for harvesting of ballots.
“She uses her money and he is is one of her many people. He is not the only one who works for her,” Omar said.
In a statement, Omar denies the man in the video works for her and says there is zero truth to the Project Veritas claims.
Omar fired back, retweeting the Presidents tweet with a .GIF from a TV show revealing $750, the amount a New York Times story just hours earlier alleged that Trump had paid in taxes in 2016 and 2017.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 28, 2020
The video says the man harvesting ballots in the video was violating Minnesota election law that allows a person to only turn in three absentee ballots. However, for the August primary, a court order lifted the three-person limit allowing anyone with the proper identification to bring in an unlimited amount of ballots. The three-ballot limit has been reinstated for the general election.
The Minneapolis Police Department said Monday afternoon they are “in the process of looking into the validity of those statements,” but added “no other information is available at this time.”
Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, who was appointed by Trump, is not commenting.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office says it has received no information or cases involving ballot harvesting in any elections held in Hennepin County this year.
Omar Jamal, who makes the claim about Omar’s alleged involvement in the video, told WCCO he would call us back. He did not. He has also launched a GoFundMe on his own behalf, with the goal of raising $500,000; as of Tuesday morning, he had already raised more than $25,000. He writes he intends to “use this money to fight any legal challenges I may be presented with and establish a baseline of financial stability for my family for the next year,” along with funding his investigation.
WCCO also called now City Councilman Osman’s office and did not hear back. Osman released this statement Monday on his Facebook page:
Throughout my campaign, I let my staff, volunteers and supporters know my values including the type of race I wanted to run. I stated publicly the importance to run a positive and ethical campaign. I condemn behavior that contradicts these values. That is why I also condemn the continued attacks on the integrity of the East-African immigrant community in Minneapolis. The community is proud to be here, passionate about exercising their constitutional right to vote and excited to elect the next President of the United States.
The Minneapolis Police Department announced Monday that investigators “are in the process of looking into the validity” of Project Veritas’s claims.