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Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report

Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report
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Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump creates federal council on global tree planting initiative | Green group pushes for answers on delayed climate report | Carbon dioxide emissions may not surpass 2019 levels until 2027: analysis Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative Private schools prove reopening learning institutions safely can be done MORE is under investigation for possible Hatch Act violations after she criticized Democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus Rally crowd chants 'lock him up' as Trump calls Biden family 'a criminal enterprise' Undecided voters in Arizona wary of Trump, crave stability MORE in a Fox News interview, Politico reports.

According to Politico, the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) has started the investigation after DeVos hit Biden on Fox News and shared the video to the Education Department's YouTube page in early September. In the clip, DeVos said Biden "turned his back on" kids by saying he opposes her school choice policies, and called it "shameful."

DeVos would add to a number of top Trump administration officials who have been accused of violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees in the executive branch from using their position for political activity. 

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In 2018, the Office of the Special Counsel found at least six Trump staffers had violated the Hatch Act. The OSC decided not to pursue disciplinary action against any of the officials at the time since they deleted their posts which were subject to the violation. In 2019, OSC updated that number to at least 10 Trump officials.

Two former Obama administration cabinet secretaries violated the Hatch Act, Housing and Urban Development chief Julián Castro and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusSpecial counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former HHS Secretary Sebelius gives Trump administration a D in handling pandemic; Oxford, AstraZeneca report positive dual immunity results from early vaccine trial MORE, Politico reported.

Normally, those found in violation of the rule can face firing, fines, demotions or other penalties. 

Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump slams Facebook, Twitter for limiting spread of New York Post's Biden story OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump creates federal council on global tree planting initiative | Green group pushes for answers on delayed climate report | Carbon dioxide emissions may not surpass 2019 levels until 2027: analysis Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative MORE, Stephen MillerStephen MillerHouse Democrats ask DHS to consider flu vaccinations for immigration detainees Christie released from the hospital after COVID-19 diagnosis Fauci: 'We had a superspreader event in the White House' MORE, and other top Trump advisers are among those accused of violations. Top adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayBillboard warns Trump's Iowa rally will be 'superspreader event' White House Halloween to be 'modified' to meet CDC guidelines: report Minnesota health officials connect COVID-19 cases to Trump, Biden campaign events MORE was also found in violation of the Hatch Act, but President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE ultimately did not act on the violation.

“No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a terrific person,” Trump said in an interview at the time.