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 CarsonOvernight Energy: Political appointee taking over as Interior IG | Change comes amid Zinke probe | White Houses shelves coal, nuke bailout plan | Top Dem warns coal export proposal hurts military Overnight Energy: Political employee to replace Interior inspector general amidst investigations| White House pauses plan to bail out coal and nuclear| Top Armed Services Dem warns Trump coal plan on military bases could hurt national security HUD political appointee to replace Interior Department inspector general 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.