President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain violated the Hatch Act on Twitter, so why he was never actually disciplined for it?
Klain used his official government Twitter account to re-tweet a message from Strike PAC, a left-leaning political action committee, encouraging people to purchase their merchandise.
“Operation Fly Formula delivers 70,000 pounds of infant formula for American mothers and their infants. Thank you @POTUS. Get your Democrats Deliver merch today,” the tweet read, including a link to their online store.
Chief of the Hatch Act Unit at the Office of Special Council Ana Galindo-Marrone issued a statement on Wednesday acknowledging that the re-tweet was a violation, but then went on to explain why they didn’t do anything more than give Klain a warning.
“Strike PAC’s message thanking President Biden served to further the group’s nationalized strategy of promoting Democrats as the party that delivers on its promises to voters. By retweeting this message, Mr. Klain used his official Twitter account to promote a partisan political group’s interests and, therefore, OSC has concluded that he violated the Hatch Act’s use of official authority prohibition,” she wrote.
“In addition, Strike PAC’s tweet constituted a solicitation for political contributions because it encouraged others to buy the group’s merchandise. A political contribution is defined as any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value, made for any political purpose (i.e., to promote or oppose a partisan political group),” the statement continued. “The sale of Strike PAC’s merchandise supports the group’s objective of electing Democrats, and so the purchase price is a political contribution for purposes of the Hatch Act. Thus, Strike PAC’s tweet solicited political contributions, and because Mr. Klain retweeted this message, he also violated the Hatch Act’s solicitation prohibition.”
But in the end, all Klain received was a finger-wagging and a warning not to do it again.
“We understand that he promptly removed the retweet upon being notified of this complaint. Accordingly, we have decided not to pursue disciplinary action and will close this matter. Mr. Klain has been warned that if in the future he engages in activity prohibited by the Hatch Act while employed in a covered position, OSC would consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law that could result in disciplinary action,” Galindo-Marrone concluded.
Social media couldn’t figure out why a government official gets to break the rules, but stick around:
The FBI would have hauled in family members, other staff and a guy who sat next to him on a plane one time. They’d be subjected to 14 hours of questioning and if they said they picked their kid up from school at 3:23 instead of 3:30, they’d be charged with lying to the FBI.
— Sterling Matthew (@SterlingMatthew) October 27, 2022
Never any consequences.
— Tony ESPOSITO (@P2VSailor) October 27, 2022
I know some folks impeached for less
— Freedom is not Free (@usmcds1776) October 27, 2022
Well then Bannon’s contempt sentencing shouldn’t be a thing. Hasn’t happened in more than 50 years.
— shumani tutanka owachi (@KrikShumani) October 27, 2022
— TiggidyShack 🐾 (@TiggidyShack) October 27, 2022
He was warned never to do it again.🤔🧐
If it was Trump’s Chief of Staff, we all know what would’ve happened and the frothing at that mouth media that would demand he be arrested and charged.
Here. we get crickets. pic.twitter.com/gYOWouxqFc
— Jim Sherman 🇺🇸 (@Nth_Dimensions) October 27, 2022
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