13 senior Trump administration officials have violated Hatch law, findings report – Community News

13 senior Trump administration officials have violated Hatch law, findings report

Eleven of those senior Trump officials reportedly violated the Hatch Act by “campaigning on behalf of President Trump’s re-election” during 18 official interviews or media appearances, and two of them committed violations related to the 2020 Republican National Convention. , the report said. The agency, tasked with investigating violations of the Hatch Act, also found that some Trump administration officials “deliberately disregarded the law’s requirements and tacitly or expressly authorized senior government officials who break the law.”

The agency said it began investigating the officials after many complaints were filed during and after the convention.

The 11 former senior officials alleged to have committed media-related violations include: White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House Adviser Stephen Miller, Deputy White House Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern, Chief of Staff to then Vice President Mike Pence Marc Short, White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was found to be in violation of the Hatch Act when he addressed the 2020 Republican convention in a pre-recorded video, even after he charged employees with “not improperly engage the State Department in the political process.” involvement,” a move in which he used “his official authority as he delivered that speech to promote President (Donald) Trump’s candidacy,” the report said.

“Secretary Pompeo’s approval of the State Department’s policy change is a similar manipulation of government affairs in favor of a particular candidate,” the report said.

CNN reached out to Pompeo, Miller and other former senior government officials on Tuesday for comment.

A source close to Short called the violations “a publicity stunt”, adding: “Neither Marc nor the OVP attorney had been notified in advance of these alleged OSC findings.”

The report comes after a number of Trump administration officials were cited for alleged violations of the Hatch Act while Trump was in office, but received no repercussions.
CNN previously reported that a source familiar with the situation said Trump had asked Pompeo to speak, and he was honored to be asked. The speech was endorsed by Pompeo’s personal attorneys, State and White House attorneys and RNC attorneys, the source said at the time. They called it “completely lawful and perfectly proper.”
The violation of the former acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, stemmed from a naturalization ceremony in which he swore an oath to five people and broadcast during the RNC. He previously said he was not aware of the recordings of the ceremony that would be broadcast during the convention and the Office of Special Counsel also said in the report that he told them he was not aware that the ceremony would be at the convention. played.
As president, Trump has previously turned a blind eye to potential violations of the Hatch Act, which restricts the political activity of federal employees while on duty. Conway remained an adviser to the president, despite the special counsel’s office recommending that she remove her for violating the law several times.
While the president and vice president are exempt from the Hatch Act, a federal law that generally prohibits the use of government property for political activity, some past office holders have tried to restrict political activity at the White House, for example by hosting political events. keep elsewhere or in the living quarters of the presidential mansion.

Jennifer Hansler, Priscilla Alvarez, Paula Reid, Geneva Sands and Paul LeBlanc of CNN contributed to this report.