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 December 2, 2023

White House press secretary, spokesman violated Hatch Act

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and spokesman Andrew Bates violated the Hatch Act, according to a watchdog group.

The violation concerned statements noted in an October letter about criticizing MAGA Republicans.

The background

"The OSC previously sent Jean-Pierre a warning letter in June for her usage of the term 'mega MAGA Republicans' during press briefings in the lead up to the 2022 midterm elections. The agency did not pursue disciplinary action at that time but issued guidance that said 'MAGA' is off limits under the Hatch Act," the Hill reported.

"The Hatch Act prohibits federal government employees from engaging in campaign activity in their official capacity. Jean-Pierre often references the statute during the daily press briefings when asked questions about the 2024 election," it added.

The watchdog's statement

"Apparently, nobody takes the Hatch Act very seriously, at least nobody that matters. Ms. Jean-Pierre cites it frequently to avoid tough questions, but when she and her deputy received the initial warning from OSC, they doubled down," conservative watchdog founder of Protect the Public's Trust Michael Chamberlain told NBC News.

"They probably guessed there would be no consequences, and the OSC appears to have proven them correct," he continued.

No action

"However, the lack of significant repercussions for Jean-Pierre and Bates could indicate a potential weakness in the enforcement of the Act," Trending Politics reported.

"This is largely contrasted with instances where lower-level public servants faced serious disciplinary actions for similar violations," it noted.

The two officials have been warned but no other action appears to be in place to punish the White House press secretary or spokesman.

The news comes as former President Donald Trump continues to argue that multiple legal battles against him are politically-motivated and intended to stop him from winning in the 2024 election.

Trump currently appears to be on course for a rematch with President Joe Biden, allowing America's voter the opportunity to decide who will lead the nation for the next four years.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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