WH Propagandist Jean-Pierre Warned for Breaking Hatch Act

WH Propagandist Jean-Pierre Warned for Breaking Hatch Act

June 13, 2023

In a letter published by the Washington Post on Tuesday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to Protect the Public’s Trust has warned White House Press Propagandist Karine Jean-Pierre that her attacks on “MAGA Republicans” violate the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in partisan politics.

The letter reveals that the Office of Special Counsel, an independent investigative agency focused on ethics rules, decided not to take disciplinary action. The letter states, in part:

Your complaint alleged that Ms. Jean‐Pierre used the phrase “mega MAGA Republican[s]” as part of “an inappropriate attempt to influence the vote.” In investigating the allegation, OSC discovered that Ms. Jean‐Pierre used the phrase “MAGA Republicans” repeatedly during official press briefings prior to the November 2022 midterm election. Although Ms. Jean‐Pierre never expressly instructed viewers to vote for or against Republican candidates for elected office, OSC concluded that the timing, frequency, and content of Ms. Jean‐Pierre’s references to “MAGA Republicans” established that she made those references to generate opposition to Republican candidates. Accordingly, making the references constituted political activity.

Because Ms. Jean‐Pierre made the statements while acting in her official capacity, she violated the Hatch Act prohibition against using her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election. Although we have concluded that Ms. Jean‐Pierre violated the Hatch Act, we have decided to close this matter without further action. We note, in particular, that the White House Counsel’s Office did not at the time believe that Ms. Jean‐Pierre’s remarks were prohibited by the Hatch Act, and it is unclear whether OSC’s contrary analysis regarding the use of “MAGA Republicans” was ever conveyed to Ms. Jean‐Pierre. We have 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.

Jean-Pierre has repeatedly used the Hatch Act to avoid questions about the 2024 presidential election while engaging in harsh attacks on Republicans that seem to violate the Act.

© Copyright 2024, DiscoverTheNetworks.org