GOP: Dem Senate candidate violated state ethics rules
© Getty

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania is accusing Democrat Senate candidate Katie McGinty of violating state ethics guidelines in emails released by the state party on Tuesday. 

The state party circulated screenshots of three emails during her brief stint as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's chief of staff, arguing they show McGinty using her state email account "during taxpayer hours to engage in political activity." 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"These latest ethics violations are par for the course for Shady Katie and show why McGinty and Wolf must release all of the emails already deemed public by the Office of Open Records today, not five days after Election Day," said Megan Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. 
 
In one email from 7:49 a.m. on June 22, 2015—a month before McGinty resigned—she responds to a staff email outlining Wolf's numbers in a Quinnipiac poll to ask if they can also send her Republican Sen. Pat Toomey's stats. 
 
In a separate screenshot of a schedule, it notes McGinty would not attend a state government meeting, but would meet with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenRestless progressives eye 2024 Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Biden eyes new path for Fed despite Powell pick MORE (D-Mass.) at a law firm in Philadelphia. The third screenshot is of a July 2015 email of McGinty sending contact info for Sen. Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian MORE (D-N.Y.), though it is unclear whom she is emailing. 
 
The three emails released Tuesday are part of a larger batch given to the state party because of a court order requiring the Wolf administration to release McGinty's emails. Under the court order, the state government has until Nov. 14 to release all of the emails. The state party didn't release the full batch of emails that it received from the state government. 
 
Democrats have repeatedly dismissed the allegations, arguing Republicans are going on an election-year fishing expedition. McGinty has also supported releasing the emails, though she's noted she's not involved with deciding when they are released. 
 
Sean Coit, a spokesman for McGinty, said Tuesday that the state GOP is "redefining the term 'grasping.' " 
 
"Did you know Pat Toomey still refuses to tell his own constituents who he's voting for next Tuesday?" he added. 
 
Toomey—who says he is undecided—has drawn criticism for refusing to say if he will support Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE, despite disagreeing with the GOP nominee on a myriad of policies. Democrats have worked for months to link down-ballot candidates to Trump's controversial statements. 
 
Tuesday's release come as McGinty has pulled ahead in recent polling in the key battleground Senate race, leading Toomey by an average of 4 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics
 
But Republicans have argued for months that McGinty planned her Senate run on state time, though ethics guidelines bar political activity during work hours. 
 
Under state guidelines, employees are banned from political activity during work hour. They also have to get prior approval for activities during non-work hours that includes running for office or compensation or requires leave.
 
 
“These emails provide further proof of more McGinty ethics violations," he said. "McGinty should follow the court order and release the remaining thousands of emails before Election Day. Even Hillary Clinton says she wants her emails released before Election Day – Katie should too.”