Two House Democrats have asked the U.S. Office of Special Counsel — the government agency in charge of policing the Hatch Act — to examine whether two events filmed at the White House and broadcast at the Republican National Convention Tuesday violated the law, which prohibits most federal employees from engaging in official acts for the purpose of benefiting a political campaign.
Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-D) and Don Beyer (D-VA) asked the agency to look particularly at segments the RNC aired Tuesday night that featured President Trump pardoning an ex-felon and his acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf presiding over a naturalization ceremony.
The Dems want OSC to investigate whether “Wolf and other senior members of the Trump Administration” violated the law by “using their positions, official resources, and the White House itself, to participate in the Republican National Convention.”
The two events were filmed at the White House, and the Trump administration hasn’t denied that White House staff were involved in the staging and production of the events.
However, it has claimed that there was no violation of the law. A White House official told TPM Wednesday morning that it posted footage of the “official” White House events on its YouTube account Tuesday afternoon, making them available to the public, and that “the campaign decided to use the publically (sic) available content for campaign purposes.”
The House Democrats’ letter to OSC explicitly pushed back on that explanation.
“The publicization of the event offers no defense for actions clearly orchestrated for the purpose of influencing an election as part of a nationally televised partisan event carefully planned days, if not weeks, in advance,” they wrote.
Read the letter below: