Watchdog cites 13 Trump officials who violated Hatch Act before 2020 election

A government watchdog agency determined that 13 senior Trump administration officials violated federal law by campaigning for former President TrumpDonald TrumpWendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Senate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Former acting Defense secretary under Trump met with Jan. 6 committee: report MORE in the lead up to the 2020 election, according to a report published Tuesday.

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found numerous officials in the past administration illegally participated in the Republican National Convention (RNC) — parts of which were held at the White House — and broke the law with their political activities prior to the election.

"Taken together, the report concludes that the violations demonstrate both a willingness by some in the Trump administration to leverage the power of the executive branch to promote President Trump's reelection and the limits of OSC's enforcement power," the OSC said in a release sharing the report.


The report outlines the latest examples of Trump officials flouting the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal government employees from engaging in campaign activity in their official capacity. The law does not apply to the president or vice president, but multiple other Trump officials were repeat offenders.

There is no enforcement mechanism for the law once officials have left office, but the OSC said it was publishing the violations for full documentation "and to deter similar violations in the future."

The report found then-Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoRussia suggests military deployments to Cuba, Venezuela an option The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Winter is here for Democrats Overnight Defense & National Security — Nuclear states say no winners in global war MORE violated the law by delivering an RNC speech from Israel, and Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfCawthorn 'likely' violated rules by bringing candidate on House floor After a year of blatant ethics violations, Congress must reform corruption laws Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Stephen Miller, Kayleigh McEnany MORE did the same by leading a naturalization ceremony taped and played during the convention. 

The report also called out several political appointees for openly pushing for Trump's reelection or bashing then-candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenCarville advises Democrats to 'quit being a whiny party' Wendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Sullivan: 'It's too soon to tell' if Texas synagogue hostage situation part of broader extremist threat MORE during media appearances in their official capacity.

The officials deemed in violation of the Hatch Act included former Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette; former White House communications director Alyssa Farah; former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; then-White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsTucker Carlson extends influence on GOP  Jan. 6 panel asks McCarthy to cooperate Clay Aiken running again for Congress because North Carolina representatives 'don't represent me' MORE; former Trump senior advisers Stephen MillerStephen MillerPennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McEnany sits down with Jan. 6 investigators Legal aid groups want little to no part of re-upped Remain in Mexico program MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerKushner investment firm raises more than B: report Trump: Netanyahu 'never wanted peace' with Palestinians Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah MORE; Marc Short, the former chief of staff to then-Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePences' pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo, dies Pence says both Capitol riot and nixing filibuster are a 'power grab' McCarthy says he won't cooperate with 'illegitimate' Jan. 6 probe MORE; national security adviser Robert O'BrienRobert O'BrienSullivan warns Iran of 'severe consequences' if American citizens are attacked Watchdog cites 13 Trump officials who violated Hatch Act before 2020 election Lawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell MORE; and White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayPennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid Christie says Trump, Meadows should have warned him of positive COVID-19 test MORE, who the OSC at one point recommended be fired for her repeated egregious violations of the Hatch Act.

The report acknowledged the limited enforcement capabilities for officials who violate the Hatch Act when the president disregards the law entirely.

"The Hatch Act is only as effective in ensuring a depoliticized federal workforce as the president decides it will be," the report states. "Where, as happened in the Trump administration, the White House chooses to ignore the Hatch Act’s requirements, there is currently no mechanism for holding senior administration officials accountable for violating the law."