Using the White House, the American people’s house, as a backdrop, the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night appeared to violate criminal provisions of the Hatch Act “which bars executive branch employees from participating in politics in their official capacity,” according to the Washington Post.
One extreme violation (aside from its content, which was more than ironic given Trump’s stance and actions toward immigrants) was when acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf administered the Oath of Allegiance to five naturalized citizens.
The Washington Post reports: “A White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the legal basis of the event, said it was part of the president’s official schedule that was publicized on a public website. ‘The campaign decided to use the publicly available content for campaign purposes,’ the official said. ‘There was no violation of law.'”
Additionally, according to the paper, “White House employees must be off-duty to participate in or attend a convention event. But what of the two Marines in dress who opened the door at the beginning of the above video? According to the Hatch Act, they “may not engage in activities that associate the DOD with any partisan political campaign or elections, candidate, cause or issue.”
And during the last part of the Tuesday night program, “first lady Melania Trump spoke from the Rose Garden. Numerous administration officials appeared to be in attendance, according to video feeds of her speech.”
The WaPo adds: “Earlier this month, the Office of Special Counsel told House Democrats in a letter that while the president is not prohibited from delivering his convention speech on White House grounds, the involvement of White House employees in the event could raise Hatch Act concerns.”
FOX News host Chris Wallace noted that the barrier between RNC Convention and the White House “was completely blown away tonight.”
Mediaite reports: “Wallace said the ‘most controversial of all’ had to be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘making a political speech from a diplomatic hot-spot in Jerusalem.’ He said secretaries of state have never done this before, pointed out that the State Department actually has regulations against this sort of thing, and was a little skeptical of the department’s claim that he was just speaking in his ‘personal capacity.'”
“People can think it’s a big deal, they can think it’s a little deal. But all of this has never happened before. And it’s worth noting,” Wallace added.
Some reactions to the violation of the Hatch Act and Melania’s speech.
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