13 Trump Aides Broke Law By Mixing Politics, Jobs: Report

Meadows, Kushner are included as violators after investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 10, 2021 6:50 PM CST
13 Trump Aides Broke Law By Mixing Politics, Jobs: Report
Jared Kushner and Kayleigh McEnany, shown last November, were listed as violators of the Hatch Act in the report.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

At least 13 former Trump administration officials violated the law by mingling campaigning with their official government duties, according to a new federal investigation, the AP reports. The report from the Office of Special Counsel says the officials broke the law without consequence and with the administration's approval as part of a "willful disregard for the Hatch Act"—the law that prohibits government officials from using their official roles to influence elections, including supporting candidates while acting in their official capacities. The report says White House officials were warned of the violations but President Trump did not act; the president is charged with enforcing the law for top officials.

"The cumulative effect of these repeated and public violations was to undermine public confidence in the nonpartisan operation of government," the report said, adding that "such flagrant and unpunished violations erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law." The office investigated officials' comments in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, including at the Republican National Convention, which was held at the White House in a major break from historical norms. The Office of Special Counsel, which released its report Tuesday, concluded that hosting the event at the White House did not itself violate the Hatch Act.

But the report listed other instances in which Trump officials did, mostly by promoting the former president's reelection in interviews while appearing in their official capacity. Among those cited are former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the president; former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Kellyanne Conway, then counselor to the president; Stephen Miller, a Trump senior policy adviser, and Robert O'Brien, former national security adviser. "In each case, the subject official was identified by their official title, discussed administration policies and priorities related to their official duties, and/or spoke from the White House grounds," the report says.

(More Hatch Act stories.)

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