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Tags: watchdog | osc | white house | violated | hatch | act

Watchdog: WH Violated Hatch Act but No Discipline Coming

By    |   Friday, 01 December 2023 08:28 PM EST

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent government watchdog agency, found that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act with her use of "MAGA" to describe Republicans, but the agency opted against issuing discipline, NBC News reported Friday.

Hatch Act Unit Chief Ana Galindo‐Marrone wrote in October that Jean-Pierre ran afoul of OSC's Hatch Act guidance in June but that no discipline was forthcoming, in part because she hadn't used MAGA since her June offenses, NBC News reported, citing a letter it said was shared with the outlet.

"Please rest assured that we will continue to monitor the situation and reserve the right to reopen these cases," Galindo‐Marrone wrote in October.

The Hatch Act limits certain political activities of federal employees.

Jean-Pierre uttered "MAGAnomics" this past Monday and White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates used MAGA in writing in October, criticizing Republicans in a memo over "radical MAGAnomics policies," NBC News found.

"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 added.

Jean-Pierre used MAGA after receiving a warning from the OSC in June. Her actions and those of Bates ran "contrary" to the official guidance, Galindo-Marrone wrote.

The June guidance from OSC came months after Jean-Pierre repeatedly referred to "mega MAGA Republicans" ahead of the 2022 midterms.

One week after NBC News published OSC's guidance in June, warning against using MAGA, the White House press office referred to MAGA, criticizing the GOP's "hardcore MAGA budget" (Jean-Pierre) and "MAGA tax welfare" (Bates).

That didn't escape Chamberlain.

"Your letter advised Ms. Jean-Pierre 'that should she again engage in prohibited political activity, OSC would consider it a knowing and willful violation of the law that could result in OSC pursuing disciplinary action.' That is precisely what Ms. Jean-Pierre has done," Chamberlain wrote to the OSC in June.

"It further is highly unlikely that the phrase 'MAGA' appeared in two separate White House Press Office documents on the same day by accident."

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent government watchdog agency, found that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act with her use of "MAGA" to describe Republicans, but the agency opted against issuing discipline, NBC News ...
watchdog, osc, white house, violated, hatch, act
383
2023-28-01
Friday, 01 December 2023 08:28 PM
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