Office Of Special Counsel Reprimands Haley For Endorsing GOP Candidate

Press Encounter by the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ms. Nikki Haley in New York on March 27, 2017. (Photo by Luiz Roberto Lima / Pacific Press) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***(Sipa via AP Images)
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The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) on Tuesday reprimanded United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley for violating the Hatch Act by retweeting President Donald Trump’s endorsement of a Republican candidate for Congress.

OSC said in a letter to Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, that it sent Haley “a warning letter” regarding the violation.

CREW filed a complaint in June over Haley’s retweet of Trump’s post endorsing Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), then a candidate.

OSC said Haley’s personal Twitter account “gave the impression that she was acting in her official capacity when she used this account to retweet President Trump’s message” endorsing Norman, because the account “included so much indicia of her official role as Ambassador.”

“Thus, OSC has concluded that Ambassador Haley violating the Hatch Act when she retweeted President Trump’s June 19 message about Ralph Norman,” the office said.

Because Haley deleted the post and the office “found no evidence that she engaged in any additional prohibited political activity via Twitter,” OSC said it “decided not to pursue disciplinary action and are closing the above-referenced file without further action” but has given Haley “advice on how to avoid additional violations of the Hatch Act with her Twitter account in its current form.”

Bookbinder called Haley’s violation of the Hatch Act part of “a pattern” by senior officials in Trump’s administration.

“This is already the third time this year that a senior Trump official has been reprimanded for misusing their official position following a CREW complaint,” he said. “This all stems from the president’s permissive attitude toward ethics; the tone is set at the top.”

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