Top Biden administration official appears to have ‘violated’ federal law, watchdogs say
- November 30, 2022
Gabe Kaminsky, Washington Examiner
A top Biden administration official appears to have “violated” federal law by promoting a reporter’s book on social media, watchdogs told the Washington Examiner.
Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency under the Department of Homeland Security, deleted a tweet on Tuesday that endorsed Wired reporter Andy Greenberg’s 2022 book Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency. However, since federal officials are barred from using their “position or title” to “endorse any product, service or enterprise,” Easterly’s move may put her in violation of the law, watchdogs say.
“This book was SOOO good,” tweeted Easterly. “Thanks @a_greenberg for another highly compelling, entertaining, & illuminating read!”
Easterly’s tweet “was a pretty resounding endorsement of the book,” according to Protect the Public’s Trust Director Michael Chamberlain, a former Department of Education official.
“This restriction was really drilled into our heads when I served in government,” said Chamberlain, noting that his group is considering filing an ethics complaint on the issue. “Obtaining the stamp of approval from an agency or prominent leader in the federal government would definitely deliver an unfair advantage. It’s more than a little ironic that someone in charge of policing the speech of Americans could be so careless with her own social media statements.”