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    "In this screenshot from the RNC's livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a naturalization ceremony for new citizens in a pre-recorded video broadcasted during the virtual convention on August 25, 2020." Remember back in August 2020 when former unlawfully appointed acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf presided over a political stunt that used immigrants as human props as part of an effort to reelect the previous president? A number of the immigrants who were sworn in as U.S. citizens in that White House naturalization ceremony would later say they weren’t informed prior to the stunt that it would be broadcast as part of the Republican National Convention. Plenty of experts at the time said it was a corrupt and illegal act. We didn’t need an official investigation to figure that out. It was right there in front of our eyes. But we do have one now.  Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner reported on Wednesday that the Office of Special Counsel has determined that at least 13 officials with the previous administration violated the Hatch Act, “illegally mixing campaign and...
    Mike Pompeo was singled out as one of the worst violators, so of course his punishment will be ... nothing. With the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 busy issuing flurries of subpoenas, it’s easy to forget that they’re not the only game in town when it comes to investigations of Donald Trump and his associates.  There’s the ongoing investigation in New York state, as well as Manhattan and Westchester County. There’s the still unresolved case of Rudy Giuliani, whose offices were raided back on Apr. 28. And there’s a special federal investigation opened back in October into how the Trump White House wadded up the Hatch Act and used it to wipe … whatever needed wiping.  After months of investigation, The Washington Post now reports that “at least” 13 senior Trump officials have been found to violate the Hatch Act, illegally mixing campaign and government events. This wasn’t just a matter of Trump telling people to disregard the Act, though it was clear that he did. This was, according to the report: “what appeared to be a taxpayer-funded campaign apparatus...
    (CNN)The US Office of Special Counsel has concluded that Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge violated the Hatch Act, the law that limits the political activities of all federal civilian executive branch employees, when she commented on Ohio politics from the White House podium earlier this year.Fudge, who joined White House press secretary Jen Psaki at a briefing in March, was asked about the special election to fill her vacant seat in Congress.Though Fudge declined to weigh in on the House race, she told reporters she thought Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and US Rep. Tim Ryan, both Democrats, were strong candidates to fill the seat currently occupied by Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who announced in January he would not seek reelection when his current term ends in 2022. Both have since launched campaigns -- Ryan for the Senate seat and Whaley for governor of Ohio.According to the US Office of Special Counsel, the agency charged with investigating Hatch Act violations, the rule prohibits federal employees from "using their official titles or positions while engaged in political activity," including...
    (CNN)Kellyanne Conway's contempt for the law could not have been clearer. Steven HolmesIn June 2019, a federal watchdog agency accused Conway, then a top White House aide, of violating the Hatch Act, which forbids most members of the Executive Branch from engaging in partisan political activity while in office. The agency, the Office of Special Counsel, said Conway had violated the Hatch Act several times and should be fired. It was the second time she had been cited for violating that law, and she had already signaled her disdain for it with a biting response. "Let me know when the jail sentence starts," she told reporters, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Perhaps it's time for Congress to grant Conway's suggested punishment. Read More Has any administration been more blatant in its disregard of the Hatch Act than Donald Trump's? Fourteen of its members have been found to have violated the law more than 50 times, and at least another 22 are under investigation for nearly 100 more violations, according to a report in October by the staff of Massachusetts...
    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro repeatedly and knowingly broke the law by engaging in political campaigning while appearing in his official capacity, the Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog agency, said in a report Monday. Navarro becomes one of more than a dozen Trump administration officials who have been found to have violated the Hatch Act, which restricts government employees from engaging in partisan political activity. [ READ Trump Team Deploys Cabinet Members as Campaign Surrogates ]The Office of Special Counsel concluded that Navarro attempted to influence the 2020 election this fall during at least six media interviews where he repeatedly attacked and disparaged then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. Navarro also employed his Twitter account, which he uses for official purposes, to engage in partisan attacks against Biden. The office sent its findings to President Donald Trump, referring Navarro to him for "appropriate disciplinary action." The president is generally responsible for doling out consequences to White House officials who violate the Hatch Act. The Trump administration and the president himself, however,...
    Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller has not often responded publicly to endless criticisms of his decision-making in the Russia probe. When Mueller has spoken, however, it’s been to push back against attempts by high-profile individuals to undermine the credibility and integrity of his office’s work. This time, Mueller made a statement that was plainly about details in former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann’s just released book, Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation. Weissmann, who was a top Mueller deputy, has openly criticized the Mueller investigation for not doing more—even suggesting that the office was afraid President Donald Trump would start firing people. Weissmann’s book on the Russia investigation went public on Tuesday and has already garnered significant press attention. Weissmann recently told The Atlantic that Mueller’s office let the constant threat of Mueller’s firing prevent the team from pursuing all possible leads in probing the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. “The specter of our being shut down exerted a kind of destabilizing pull on our decision-making process,” Weissmann told The Atlantic’s George Packer in an interview preceding the release the book. “For example, the special counsel shied...
    Bob Brigham September 22, 2020 3:19PM (UTC) This article originally appeared on Raw Story Yet another top Trump administration official is being investigated for potentially violating federal law. "The Office of the Special Counsel has started investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for potentially violating the Hatch Act, after she slammed Joe Biden in a Fox News interview and her agency promoted it through official channels," Politico reported Monday. "The head of investigative watchdog blog Checks and Balances Project Scott Peterson said in an interview that OSC Hatch Act attorney Eric Johnson told him he had been assigned to investigate the matter." : Politico reported how Peterson recounted what Johnson told him. "We'll investigate matters in your complaint," Johnson reportedly said. "The incident seems very well documented." Johnson also told him that because of remote work prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the timeline for the investigation is uncertain. "DeVos would become one of the most high-profile Trump officials known to have been investigated for violating the Hatch Act. Depending on what OSC finds, she would be the second member of the Trump...
    Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019 in Washington, DC.Melina Mara | The Washington Post | Getty Images Former special counsel Robert Mueller and his office let the American people down with their probe into President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election, a prosecutor who served in the special counsel's office says in a new interview. Andrew Weissmann, a former top deputy to Mueller, in his forthcoming book "Where Law Ends, Inside the Mueller Investigation," faulted the special counsel and the office for not doing enough to fully investigate potential criminality and to push back on Trump's efforts to undermine the investigation.   George Packer of The Atlantic, during an interview with Weissmann, asked "if Mueller had let the American people down." "'Absolutely, yep," Weissmann said, according to Packer, before quickly adding: "I wouldn't phrase it as just Mueller. I would say 'the office.'" " There are a lot of things we did well, and a lot of things we could have...
    Former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who spent more than a year as one of Robert Mueller’s top deputies in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, unleashed harsh criticism on the Special Counsel’s Office in an interview with The Atlantic published on Monday. Weissmann, who now teaches law at New York University, particularly chastised the office for being too timid in the face of attacks from President Donald Trump. Weissmann said Mueller’s office let the constant threat of Mueller’s firing prevent the team from pursuing all possible leads in probing the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. “The specter of our being shut down exerted a kind of destabilizing pull on our decision-making process,” Weissmann told The Atlantic’s George Packer in an interview preceding the release of his new book, Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation. According to the report, Weissmann’s book recounts several specific examples in which Mueller’s team refused to aggressively pursue members of the president’s family because they feared how Trump might react. “For example, the special counsel shied away from subpoenaing Don Trump Jr....
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- The government has found nearly 30,000 new records related to the bribery case of Chicago banker Stephen Calk in former special counsel Robert Mueller's shuttered office.Calk is accused of corruptly soliciting a top White House position in exchange for $16 million dollars in bank loans to former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.Mueller's Russia investigation has been wrapped for a year and a half at the Department of Justice. Two of the cases that reverberated from Mueller's office involved bank and tax fraud Manafort. Seven hundred miles away, at Chicago's Federal Savings Bank, a bribery case was brought against founder and then-CEO Stephen Calk.Manafort received $16 million dollars in loans from Calk, who authorities say wanted to be Secretary of the Army in a quid pro quo deal.With that trial due to start Dec. 2, prosecutors sent a letter to the judge saying they found 29,858 documents in Robert Mueller's office that are possibly pertinent to Calk's case, including 53 jailhouse phone calls Manafort made during his pretrial detention."It's unusual, it's not terribly uncommon, that the government...
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