DeVos is under investigation for Hatch Act violation. It's probably raising her stock with Trump

DeVos is under investigation for Hatch Act violation. It's probably raising her stock with Trump
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos observing a moment of silence for the Parkland, Florida shooting at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Credit: Gage Skidmore

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is the latest top Trump administration official under investigation for violating the Hatch Act, the ethics law that prohibits political activity by federal employees in their official capacity. DeVos used a Fox News appearance to attack former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and the Education Department promoted the appearance on its YouTube channel and via an email list.


DeVos attacked Biden, predictably, for not wanting to privatize public education. Or, in her words, for having “turned his back on the kids that we’re talking about and he’s turned his face in favor of the teachers union and what they have to say and what they have to demand and it’s really shameful.” How dare he not want to send public education money to private schools!

The Office of the Special Counsel is investigating DeVos’ well-documented violation, but, according to the Checks and Balances Project, the investigator has said that the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the timing of any decision. But in any case, the Trump administration gets to make decisions about discipline for Hatch Act violators, and as we’ve repeatedly seen, Team Trump not only doesn’t care about the law, but sees it as a badge of honor to break it.

That was most aggressively on display during the Republican National Convention, which centered on some massive Hatch Act violations in the form of Donald and Melania Trump’s speeches from the White House. But there's a long list of other incidents—that did lead to Office of Special Counsel reprimands—involving Kellyanne Conway, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Dan Scavino, and many more.

Trump claims to be running on a law and order platform, but his contempt for the law—at least as it applies to him and his inner circle—is glaring. DeVos’ standing with him probably rose as a result of this obvious violation of the law.

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