”The Hatch Act was the wall between the power of the government and that of the candidates. Tonight, a candidate demolished that wall and wielded power for his own campaign,” tweeted Walter Shaub, the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Shaub left the office in 2017 after clashing with the Trump administration over the president`s failure to divest himself of his businesses. Richard Haass, the longtime chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations who has served in several Republican administrations, said it was inappropriate for a secretary of state to show up at a political convention when he was the country`s top diplomat. As part of Tuesday night`s prime-time convention broadcast, Trump granted a presidential pardon from the White House. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared from Jerusalem, where he was in official state affairs, to deliver a campaign speech with the Old City as a backdrop. First Lady Melania Trump delivered a speech from the White House Rose Garden. And acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf held a naturalization ceremony on television while Trump watched. ”Ultimately, officials and staff decide whether or not to comply with the law,” Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner wrote in a statement Wednesday. ”Once they have made this choice, the OSC`s statutory job is to receive complaints, investigate alleged violations of the Hatch Act and determine which prosecutions warrant prosecution.
The Office of the Special Advocate can investigate and assess allegations of violations of the Hatch Act, but in many cases it is up to the employee`s supervisor to respond to advice. On Tuesday, House Democrats opened an investigation ahead of Pompeo`s speech, but it`s unlikely that Trump administration officials will be reprimanded for using their desks to promote the president`s re-election. ”Blah, blah, blah,” she told reporters. ”If you try to silence me through the Hatch Act, it won`t work. Let me know when the prison sentence will begin. ”It`s really disturbing,” she said. ”We give these people a crazy amount of power and authority, and they`re supposed to use it to serve the public, and when things are so politicized, it undermines that trust and contradicts the principles of what the public service is supposed to be. This should be annoying for all Americans. Ethics watchdogs sharply criticized Trump`s merger of official actions and campaign on Tuesday night`s TV show. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in most political activities in federal buildings or in use. While the president and vice president are exempt from the civil provisions of the Hatch Act, federal employees such as Pompeo, Wolf, and all executive branch staff who helped organize the events are not. This summer, Pompeo and senior State Department officials sent memos to staff reminding them that they must be careful to comply with the Hatch Act.
Another note read: ”Persons appointed by the president confirmed by the Senate cannot even attend a convention or event of Congress. This description also applies to Pompeo. The President and the Vice-President are bound by the penal provisions, the execution of which is entrusted to the Ministry of Justice. Even before the Republican National Convention began, government ethics experts warned that hosting campaign events from the White House`s South Lawn and rose garden could violate federal ethics law. But in the first two days of the convention, Trump went even further — he exercised the powers of his office and the federal government to promote his re-election campaign. There are also criminal law provisions of the Hatch Act, one of which prohibits the intimidation, threat or coercion of federal employees to participate in political activities. Another provision prohibits federal employees from using their official authority to disrupt or influence the election of the president and vice-president, among other things. Delaney Marsco, legal counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit, says the Trump administration has often circumvented ethics rules in the hope that they would avoid repercussions, whether it`s the Hatch Act or circumventing congressional or inspector general oversight. . ”No one outside the Beltway really cares,” he told Politico. They expect Donald Trump to promote Republican values, and they would expect Barack Obama, when he was in power, to do the same for the Democrats.
So listen, that`s a lot of hype about things, especially because the convention was incredibly successful. In an earlier version of this story, Walter Shaub`s title was distorted. He was the head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has rejected criticism that the administration is flouting the law. Last year, White House Special Counsel Kellyanne Conway was cited by Special Counsel for violations of the Hatch Act and recommended her dismissal. She stayed at work. ”A presumption of continuity in U.S. foreign policy is essential if allies want to trust us and adversaries respect us,” he wrote on Twitter. ”The politicization of foreign policy increases the likelihood of wild fluctuations and undermines the support of both sides.
@SecPompeo decision to talk to #RNC2020 is reckless and then some. Cabinet members have already spoken at conventions. For example, several Obama administration officials spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2012. But this congress was held in a sports arena, not in the White House, and there were no cabinet members who did official business for the cameras. .