Jan Baran Discusses Hatch Act Complaint Regarding President’s Pitches for Congressional Candidates at Official Events
Jan Witold Baran, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal in a September 12 article about a Hatch Act complaint filed by an advocacy group. The complaint followed several pitches for Republican congressional candidates by President Trump during official government events, including a recent convention funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The Hatch Act prohibits most Executive branch employees from engaging in partisan political activities in an official capacity. The President is exempt from that rule, but the VA is not, according to the article.
“Historically, this type of issue is focused on costs surrounding an event – primarily traveling expenses of the president,” said Mr. Baran. In the case of President Trump’s speeches, “there are potential violations, at the very least, of appropriations laws.”
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