The Trump administration has been inundated with ethics probes ever since he took control of the White House.
A Washington-based ethics group is adding to the growing ethics problems that the administration faces. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed complaints against ten Trump administration officials, citing that they’ve violated the federal Hatch Act. The watchdog group has officially filed complaints against the Office of Special Counsel on Thursday, singling out Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, and deputy press secretaries Raj Shah and Hogan Gidley.
Enacted in 1939, the Federal Hatch Act is a federal law that prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in political activity. This act was created to encourage bipartisanship and impartiality of federal employees.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington details how ten Trump officials posted tweets that support Trump as a candidate for 2020 — which is a direct violation of the Hatch Act. These individuals are acting biased, and behaving in such a way where they are more interested in being in Trump’s good graces, instead of working for and by the American people.
They are, of course, allowed to have their own political opinions. But the Hatch Act prevents them from using their offices and titles to promote one candidate over another. Blabbering at the mouth, about how they want Trump to win the Republican nomination two years beforehand, does not represent neutrality that we desperately need in Washington, and which is required by law.
Those who have been found of violating the Hatch Act can be fined as much as $1,000, as well as face disciplinary action, up to employee termination.
Several of the accused officials tweeted “Make America Great Again,” or “MAGA.” The Office of Special Counsel clarified that any reference to the slogan was a violation.
Huckabee Sanders criminalized herself when she tweeted a reference to the slogan on March 6 from the official @PressSec Twitter account.
Noah Bookbinder, the watchdog’s group executive director, had this to say about the Trump administration:
Despite multiple investigations and violations found, the Trump Administration clearly has no intention to stop the misuse of government offices and resources for political purposes.”