White House Officials Defy Federal Ethics Law
- June 15, 2023
Two top White House officials willfully violated a longstanding federal ethics law on Wednesday, setting up a legal showdown between the Biden administration and the Office of Special Counsel.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and her deputy, Andrew Bates, issued statements Wednesday containing several references to “MAGA,” just one week after authorities at the Office of Special Counsel said it was illegal for federal employees to use the slogan in their official capacity. The prosecutorial agency said the use of former President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan constitutes partisan political activity and is a violation of the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that prohibits federal officials from using taxpayer funds to influence elections.
The White House’s willingness to violate the Hatch Act underscores the Biden administration’s dedication to smearing Republicans as “MAGA.” Administration officials have frequently deployed the phrase since the president first uttered “Ultra-MAGA” in the leadup to the 2022 elections. The White House initially claimed Biden came up with the phrase himself, but the Washington Post later revealed the messaging was the focus-group-tested result of a six-month research project from the Center for American Progress Action Fund under the leadership of Biden aide Anita Dunn.
“Is this the behavior the American public should expect from the self-proclaimed most ethical administration in history?” Protect the Public’s Trust director Michael Chamberlain told the Washington Free Beacon. “We were promised a return to normalcy, respect for the rule of law, and decency. Yet what we are getting is open mockery of rules and standards in pursuit of political advantage.”
“Anyone wondering why trust in government continues its downward spiral need look no further than this episode,” Chamberlain added.