The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) on Thursday regarding Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s TikTok usage.
FACT is requesting the OCE investigate whether Omar is violating House rules by using her TikTok account for official House and political purposes. Omar’s content on the platform includes campaign videos urging her followers to support Democratic candidates, official government footage from C-SPAN and an interview from her House office, the complaint says. (RELATED: AOC Likely Violated Federal Law With Met Gala Theatrics, Ethics Office Says)
Four member of the “Squad” in Congress, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, have over 453,000 followers on China’s Tiktok.
Combined they’ve posted 372 videos on the app, which Biden is now weighing banning over national security concerns. pic.twitter.com/FM7OysQUth
— Gabe Kaminsky (@gekaminsky) March 24, 2023
“In the present case, both Rep. Omar’s use of her TikTok account and the content posted on that account appear to be clear violations,” FACT says in its complaint. Omar’s TikTok account identifies her as a Congresswoman from Minnesota, while campaigning for Democrats by posting campaign content.
Federal law and House ethics rules create strict distinctions between using resources for official purposes and campaign purposes. Members are prohibited from using official resources such as government buildings, House floor video and official social media for political purposes.
“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 FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold in a press release.
TikTok is the most popular social media platform among young Americans, who use it for an average of 107 minutes per day, according to a recent survey. TikTok and its parent company ByteDance were heavily scrutinized during a Mar. 23 Congressional hearing for ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and China-based employees allegedly accessing American user data.
Progressive Democrats such as Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York have become TikTok’s most prominent defenders in response to bipartisan scorn. Bowman argued banning TikTok would alienate young voters in a Mar. 22 in an interview with NBC News. He and Omar are both members of “The Squad,” a group of progressive Democratic lawmakers with large social media followings.
Ilhan Omar’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.