(WASHINGTON FREE BEACON) — The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) after he failed to disclose that a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood paid for him to make a pilgrimage to the Islamic holy site of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Top Democrats have considered shifting to the left by electing Ellison party chairman, but critics say his previous association with radical groups should disqualify him from the leadership role.
Ellison has associated with the Muslim American Society, a Virginia-based group founded by Muslim Brotherhood members in 1993 to act as the “overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,” according to federal prosecutors in 2007. The United Arab Emirates recently added the group to a list of terrorist organizations.
Eight months after Ellison returned from the trip, the House Ethics Committee questioned why he did not disclose the amount of money that the Muslim American Society paid for him to take the trip, which qualifies as a gift to a public official.
Following the committee’s investigation, Ellison was told that he had to disclose that his trip cost the Muslim American Society $13,350.
Ellison had initially said that he might have “meetings of an official nature” during his trip to Saudi Arabia, but told investigators that he “instead undertook only the more personal itinerary scheduled by the Muslim American Society,” which he believed allowed him to keep the trip’s cost private.
At the time, Ellison said he was “not privy to the internal workings” of the Muslim American Society, but the trip took place years after it was revealed that the organization was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Chicago Tribune published a lengthy exposé in 2004 about how the Muslim Brotherhood had operated in the United States for decades with a goal of achieving Islamic rule in America. Brotherhood leaders voted in 1993 to create the Muslim American Society to serve as the group’s public face in the United States.
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