More than a dozen senior Trump administration officials illegally campaigned before the 2020 presidential election while on the job in the White House, a federal investigation has found.
The office of Special Counsel Henry Kerner on Tuesday cited a ‘willful disregard’ for the Hatch Act, which prohibits most federal employees from campaigning in a government office or while performing their official duties.
At least 13 Trump administration officials are accused of breaking the law. Kerner said the violation was ‘especially pernicious’ because the officials violated the act just days before the November election.
Meanwhile, then-President Donald Trump allowed his officials to push for his reelection despite warnings from ethics authorities, according to the 60-page report.
‘The president’s refusal to require compliance with the law laid the foundation for the violations,’ the report states.
“In each of these instances, senior administration officials used their official authority or influence to campaign for President Trump.’
A refusal to discipline the officials signals that the ‘most logical inference is that the administration approved of these taxpayer-funded campaign activities’, the report states.
Two Cabinet members at the time, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting homeland security head Chad Wolf, are accused of violating the act.
Pompeo delivered a speech in Israel and Wolf led a naturalization ceremony in the White House during the Republican National Conventio