In case you weren’t aware, many primaries took place across America yesterday. Not surprisingly, President Trump was all braggadocious on Twitter about some of the Republican wins, which of course is no big deal. Well, not until the Treasury Dept decides to retweet it.
The Treasury Department could be in hot legal water after on Wednesday retweeting a post from Trump celebrating Republican wins in congressional elections this year, which appears to be a violation of federal campaign laws.
Here was the Trump tweet that the Treasury department’s official Twitter account retweeted:
“Great Republican election results last night. So far we have the team we want. 8 for 9 in Special Elections. Red Wave!” Trump tweeted at 8:30 a.m.
The Treasury almost immediately removed the post and told CNBC that the retweet was done “in error.” Regardless, government ethics watchdogs believe the Tweet was a violation of the Hatch Act, which strictly prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity while on the job.
Treasury definitely crossed the line here, said Nick Schwellenbach, a former communications director at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which enforces the Hatch Act. (The office is not related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.)
The law does not apply to the President or Vice-President but unambiguously bars any other federal employee from engaging in political activity while on the job.
To demonstrate the clarity of the law, a guidance document published by the Office of Special Counsel that states federal officials may not at any time “retweet a message in support of or opposition to a political party, candidate in a partisan race, or partisan political group.”
“Whoever retweeted this and directed its retweet at Treasury violated the Hatch Act – they supported a political party using official federal resources. It’s a violation,” Schwellenbach said. “Full stop.”
The hypocrisy of the Trump Administration brazenly breaking this law, although not surprising, is quite disgusting when you consider the firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok over anti -Trump texts.
Featured image via YouTube