FACT Calls for Investigation into Rep. Ilhan Omar’s use of Social Media
Rep. Omar appears to have violated House rules and abused official resources for political purposes
Washington, D.C.— March 30, 2023— On Wednesday, March 30, 2023, the non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigate Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, to determine whether she has used a social media account in violation of House rules and abused official resources for political purposes.
Despite warnings that TikTok data could be shared with the Chinese government and the U.S. House of Representatives banning the app from official devices, Rep. Omar has continued to use the same TikTok account for both official House and political purposes--a clear violation of House Ethics rules.
The biography portion of her TikTok account describes her as a “Congresswoman for # MN05.” There she has posted overtly political content, including a video of her urging viewers to support Democrat candidates, a message to Democrats volunteering for campaigns, and several videos of her campaigning and attending campaign events. Along with this political content, she has also made posts that used official government resources, including C-Span footage from the House floor, what appears to be a cell phone video recorded on the House floor, and an interview from what appears to be her House office.
Federal law and House ethics rules require strict separation between campaign and official acts. Rep. Omar’s use of her TikTok account and the content posted on that account appear to be clear violations of this rule. The use of the account itself is an abuse of government resources because both official and political content are posted, and the use of official video recorded in the House for political purposes is another violation of the ethics rules.
“These violations are disturbing, and clearly not how members are supposed to be using official resources. The law is abundantly clear, and her account and the content posted speak for themselves. These rules are to protect the time, resources, and integrity of official proceedings for those in elected office,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/