White House Official’s Political Tweet Was Illegal, Agency Says –
By ERIC LIPTONJUNE 9, 2017
WASHINGTON — Dan Scavino Jr., the White House director of social media, violated a federal law
that prohibits political activity by government employees, the federal agency empowered to enforce the law has concluded, citing the tweet Mr. Scavino sent in April calling for the defeat of a Republican member of Congress who has been critical of President Trump.
But a federal official may not use his or her official position, while on duty, or in a federal workplace, to urge a particular political outcome, like the ouster of Mr. Amash, or use it to raise money for a political cause, which led the Citizens for Responsibility
and Ethics group to also file a complaint against Mr. Amash with the Office of Congressional Ethics, which has jurisdiction over members of the House.
The United States Office of Special Counsel took no official action to punish Mr. Scavino, but it issued a warning
that became public on Friday that “if in the future he engages in prohibited political activity while employed in a position covered by the Hatch Act,” the office could move to enforce the 78-year-old law.
“In addition, we note that Mr. Scavino was recently counseled about the Hatch Act by the
Office of the White House Counsel,” the letter to CREW, as it is known, also said.
A violation of the Hatch Act can result in a letter of reprimand, a civil fine of up to $1,000 or the suspension, demotion or even the removal of a federal employee, with enforcement powers generally
vested in the United States Merit Systems Protection Board, if a charge is raised by the Office of Special Counsel, for individuals like Mr. Scavino who is not confirmed by the Senate.