MAGA no-no: White House press secretary violates Hatch Act again
- December 3, 2023
Suzanne Downing, Must Read Alaska
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre been accused for a second time of violating the Hatch Act, a federal law that restricts political activity by government officials while on duty or in official communications.
A federal watchdog group, Protect the Public’s Trust, filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel after Jean-Pierre’s repeated alleged infractions. Although the OSC initially determined that the accusations had merit, the press secretary will face no disciplinary action over her continued use of the term “MAGA” to describe Republicans, while she is on the clock as an official of the White House.
The controversy surrounding Jean-Pierre’s alleged violations began prior to the 2022 mid-term elections when she made statements during a press briefing that the Protect the Public Trust argued were in violation of the Hatch Act.
Protect the Public Trust filed a second complaint with the OSC, accusing both officials of blatant disregard for the Hatch Act and the OSC’s guidance. However, the OSC opted not to pursue disciplinary action for a second time.
In a letter dated late October, the OSC claimed that while Jean-Pierre and Bates’s actions were “contrary to our June 7 warning letter and advisory opinion,” they believed that White House officials were now “abiding by the warning letter and advisory opinion,” leading to the decision to close the matter without consequences.