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Skirting the Law?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Suppose that there was strong circumstantial evidence that former Congresswoman Michelle Bachman had married her brother in order to fraudulently get him into the United States from Denmark. That she later filed a mysterious divorce petition claiming (under penalty of perjury) that she had no idea of his whereabouts. Even though he is on Twitter and Facebook under his own name. And suppose she used campaign money to pay her lawyers for what many believe was for a divorce as well as for unauthorized travel. Now suppose that she reportedly filed two years of joint tax returns with a man to whom she was not married? Most of which are crimes, several are felonies. 

Given those postulates, do you think Minnesota’s largest newspaper, the StarTribune, would have afforded her the benefit of doubt and allowed her to “decline to comment”? Would they have described Rep. Bachman as “skirting the law?” Skirting the law is euphemistically soft language for saying that Rep. Omar probably broke the law, committing fraud and perjury. By the way, you will search in vain for a “without evidence” or “she claims” in any of their reporting. Terms like that are reserved only for Rep. Omar’s adversaries. There is also documentation proving that her crisis committee actively worked the StarTribune to quash any serious investigation

The questions concerning the payments for legal fees and travel from her campaign account have now been adjudicated by a Minnesota Campaign Finance panel. The rest is still murky. Curiously, Congresswoman Omar shows no interest in clearing things up. She describes one of her marriages a “faith tradition” union that was never legally recorded. She and her defenders predictably accuse any who raise questions on these matters of being Right Wing, Islamophobic bigots.

No further questions, please.

Were this Rep. Bachman, the national media would have put a small herd of investigative journalists on this sordid tale. It certainly would not be a one day story, concluding that she has paid a fine and there is nothing more to see here. So, just move along folks.

Skirting immigration laws is exactly how the Minneapolis StarTribune referred to the actions of their current hometown Congresswoman. The national media has no interest in this story. Marrying a brother is still illegal, even here in progressive Minnesota

Immigration and tax fraud are felonies. This is a juicy story. Throw in the potential fraud and perjury in the filing to dissolve the mystery marriage and you’ve got a potential Pulitzer Prize. 

Remember, this is the same national media that doubled the population of Wasilla looking for dirt on the former Governor of Alaska? Not to mention the nonstop two-year Russian collusion hoax. Were it not for a courageous Minnesota Blog called Alpha News and a State Rep. named Drazkowski, all of this would have been just a few jack pines falling in the forest. No noise and no one the wiser. 

The truth does indeed die in darkness. 

Had Rep. Bachman been credibly alleged to have committed such offenses, do you think that the Obama Justice Department would have dawdled in launching a criminal investigation? Would our partisan Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison have played a similar game of See no Evil? Do you believe Democrat leaders in Washington would have demanded investigations? 

Interesting how the cat seems to have the tongue of our Republican leadership on this. The same leaders who wasted no time defrocking Congressman Steve King for suggesting that culture has consequences. Recall that he foolish asserted that defending Western Civilization is not hate speech. Remember how quickly GOP leaders pounced? None of his offenses are crimes, at least not yet. 

It wouldn’t require FISA wiretapping warrants or pre-dawn raids by agents in full commando gear for the FBI to get to the bottom of this. Is it too much to ask for the media do its job? Where are the muckrakers? Is it a bridge too far to think that House Republican leaders might raise some of these questions? Perhaps refer this to the House Ethics Committee?

If all we can do is shame some people into looking into this scandal, then shame them we must. 

Gil Gutknecht served six terms each in the Minnesota and the U.S. House of Representatives.

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