At least 6 Trump cabinet secretaries are accused or under investigation for violating federal law
An Additional Eight or More Administration Officials Also Accused or Under Investigation
At least six Trump Cabinet secretaries are under investigation for violating federal law or are accused of violating federal law, as are an additional eight or more administration officials.
The Cabinet secretaries include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Bill Barr, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
In recent days White House officials have been assisting President Donald Trump's re-election efforts so intensely that at least one has been officially named a campaign advisor – in addition to being paid by the taxpayers for their day job inside the executive branch.
It's causing a great deal of outrage in some quarters.
An NCRM investigation finds more than a dozen White House officials are either under investigation or according to a government ethics watchdog or others, should be under investigation for appearing to be in violation of the federal law known as the Hatch Act.
Take White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who is now traveling with the president and appearing on Fox News as a Trump 2020 campaign "senior advisor."
CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins pointed out the startling "title" addition on Tuesday:
This morning Kayleigh McEnany appeared on Fox News from what looked like the studio the campaign uses. She was introduced as a Trump 2020 senior adviser and White House press secretary. @betsy_klein is told she “was appearing in her personal capacity as a private citizen." pic.twitter.com/J9SlhXHCXs
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 27, 2020
McEnany appears to have done it again today:
McEnany has taken this odd shift in her media appearances lately. Note she is still employed as a government spokesperson, her salary for White house Press Secretary paid for by American taxpayers. Now she has been referred to as a Trump 2020 campaign adviser. pic.twitter.com/QG6cSTWX12
— Benjy Renton (@bhrenton) October 29, 2020
The New York Times's Maggie Haberman on Thursday described this as "further blurring the lines between government and political activity."
In one appearance earlier this week, in which she was announced as both a campaign senior adviser and the White House press secretary, Ms. McEnany talked up the president's political rallies.
“At each of our rallies yesterday, I was with the president, we made three stops on Lancaster and all across the state," she said in the interview. “And in each of those stops we played a video for the public. Joe Biden said roll the tape, President Trump. When did I say ban fracking? Well, we rolled it."
McEnany is far from the only one "blurring" the lines.
Senior advisor to the president Stephen Miller, the Trump White House white nationalist who is the architect of its child separation policy, held a Trump campaign call with reporters on Wednesday. It was a disaster, with Miller spewing lies about Joe Biden, leading one reporter to describe his attacks this way: "Stephen Miller basically describing to reporters the plot of the Purge if Joe Biden wins the election."
Today, top Trump White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow will hold another Trump campaign call with reporters.
A day after WH Senior Advisor Stephen Miller led a press call with reporters, and on the same day Kayleigh McEnany appears on Fox as a "Trump 2020 campaign adviser," the Trump campaign is holding a call with Director of the United States National Economic Council Larry Kudlow. pic.twitter.com/Nqa8hLrA1v
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) October 29, 2020
And then there's White House senior advisor and First Daughter, Ivanka Trump:
You'll never guess what happened after we called out Ivanka Trump for violating federal law 8 times in 48 hours....
She broke the same law another 30 times. Seriously.https://t.co/X7btvrQClE — Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) October 29, 2020
Some other Trump Cabinet Secretaries, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, are raising eyebrows for travel that appears to be campaign-adjacent.
So is any or all of this illegal?
Here's what CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has to say:
The Hatch Act is a federal law!
It's a scandal that in the final week of an election, the White House has only ramped up its legal violations, from Kayleigh McEnany, to Ivanka Trump, to Peter Navarro. https://t.co/O9lQzyurQJ — Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) October 29, 2020
(CREW previously called for McEnany to be investigated for apparent Hatch Act violations. They also called for investigations into Pence chief of staff Marc Short and Trump National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.)
There's of course also White House trade advisor Peter Navarro:
Peter Navarro should be removed from federal service for repeatedly breaking the law. https://t.co/shA9JVvCUV
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) October 29, 2020
It's not just McEnany, Miller, Navarro, Ivanka, and Kudlow.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is under investigation for several "potential" Hatch Act violations.
Office of Special Counsel opens 2 investigations into @SecPompeo for Hatch Act violations — critics say he is campaigning for Trump using taxpayer resources. We reported OSC also has 2 investigations into State Dept. handling of illnesses in China & Cuba: https://t.co/xbFBfEfxvSpic.twitter.com/pcZcZ1NIND
— Edward Wong (@ewong) October 26, 2020
The nation's top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Bill Barr, is accused by CREW of violating the Hatch Act:
There is no place in the government for Attorney General Bill Barr and his law-breaking behavior.https://t.co/kHJcWxPK3O
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) October 24, 2020
Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt caused some to accuse him of a Hartch Act violastion over this video:
The @realDonaldTrump Administration has accomplished historic feats for conservation, securing the largest investment in our national parks and public lands, opening 4 million acres to new hunting and fishing opportunities, and recovering a record number of endangered species. pic.twitter.com/LoOuCPqJXm
— Secretary David Bernhardt (@SecBernhardt) October 27, 2020
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is under investigation:
I know this is getting repetitive but Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is ALSO under investigation for violating the Hatch Act after she went on FoxNews and used her official position to attack Trump's political opponents. 17/ https://t.co/yrKWtn7PW2
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) October 22, 2020
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is accused of a Hatch Act violation by a sitting U.S. Congressman:
The Agriculture Department and Secretary Perdue have quietly been among the most corrupt in the Trump Administration. Recipients of food aid boxes are mailed a "letter from Trump."
Perdue recently violated the Hatch Act by campaigning for Trump using official resources. 10/ pic.twitter.com/0Rx9AP4T6T — Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) October 22, 2020
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is also under investigation:
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf staged a citizenship ceremony for the Republican National Convention, which is under investigation for violating the Hatch Act. https://t.co/5NcVntithj He's using DHS operations to influence the campaign. 9/https://t.co/dnMc6hjTlM
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) October 22, 2020
And then there's the Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, in another apparent Hatch Act violation:
CBP's Mark Morgan just said there will be "an illegal invasion" if Biden is elected and rolls back Trump immigration policies
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) October 29, 2020
These are all recent potential violations or investigations.
CREW back in July also said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows should be investigated for Hatch Act violstions:
Kellyanne Conway Marc Short Kayleigh McEnany Peter Navarro Robert O'Brien Add Mark Meadows to the list of recent Trump officials who've likely violated the Hatch Act and endangered the integrity of our elections. https://t.co/RdIUVfa8AN
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) July 18, 2020
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