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Carson may have violated federal law at Trump's Phoenix rally

Carson may have violated federal law at Trump's Phoenix rally
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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonFacebook investigated over alleged housing discrimination The Hill's Morning Report: Haley clashes with White House US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE may have violated federal law Tuesday by appearing at a campaign rally for President Trump, The Washington Post reported.

Carson, an appointee and supporter of Trump during the campaign, was introduced with his Cabinet title at the rally in Phoenix.

His appearance at the rally sparked speculation that Carson may have violated the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits executive-branch employees from using their federal positions for political advantage.

The act specifically prohibits Cabinet secretaries from participating in such events in a way that suggests they are doing so in an official capacity, a rule meant to prevent officials from using their positions to promote specific candidates or party platforms. 

“The idea is that the government, once it's in government, is supposed to be nonpartisan. It’s really to prevent the abuse of power," Campaign Legal Center director Larry Noble told the Post. 

Secretaries are not banned from speaking at such rallies, but they can't appear to do so under their official title or as part of their Cabinet duties.