After Oversight Committee Call for Investigation Into 2020 RNC Convention, Special Counsel Finds Trump Administration Officials Showed “Willful Disregard” for Hatch Act
Former President Trump “Defended and Supported” Most Egregious Violators
Washington, November 9, 2021
Tags: Good Government
Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found 13 senior Trump Administration officials, including top White House aides and cabinet members, violated the Hatch Act. This included violations committed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf related to the 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC).
“Today’s independent Office of Special Counsel report confirms that at least 13 senior Trump Administration officials broke the law when they used their official positions to bolster President Trump’s reelection campaign,” Chairwoman Maloney stated. “OSC found that the Trump Administration engaged in a pattern of egregious violations of the law intended to protect the government from political interference and that President Trump defended the violations rather than holding anyone accountable. I introduced the Hatch Act Accountability Act, included in the Protecting Our Democracy Act, in order to strengthen Hatch Act enforcement and penalties for political appointees. We cannot allow these types of abuses to happen again.”
On September 3, 2020, Chairwoman Maloney was joined by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, and former Committee Member Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett in a letter urging OSC to investigate reports of multiple, repeated Hatch Act violations at the Republican National Convention in support of President Trump’s reelection.
“Thirteen senior Trump officials rampantly abused their oath of office, using their powerful positions for electoral gain instead of public service. President Trump endorsed their deplorable behavior on each occasion, as they ripped off taxpayers and fostered mistrust in government. Federal service is an honor, and will not be for sale,” said Chairman Connolly. “These actions were clear violations of law, and I will work to hold these individuals accountable. But there are additional gray areas in the Hatch Act that I will work to clarify and codify. Public trust in our government is vital to democracy.”
“Today’s Office of Special Counsel report is the latest in a long pattern of evidence that Donald Trump and his Administration repeatedly, willfully, and flagrantly leveraged the powers of government—not to serve and protect the American people—but to preserve their own political power,” said Chairman Lynch. “Democracy is weakened when our institutions are co-opted for personal, partisan purposes. I thank the Office of Special Counsel for their patriotic work, and I look forward to working with Chairwoman Maloney and my Oversight Committee colleagues to strengthen the Hatch Act and to protect our democracy from improper political influence.”
The report found the following violations:
On September 21, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney joined Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman Connolly, and other Committee Chairs in introducing the Protecting Our Democracy Act (H.R. 5314), which includes the Hatch Act Accountability Act, to strengthen enforcement and penalties for political appointees who violate the Hatch Act. The bill would:
Read OSC’s report here.