RNC approved for fireworks display after Trump’s speech

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has received approval to conduct a fireworks display at the Washington Monument on Thursday immediately following President Trump’s acceptance speech.

The National Park Service approved the committee’s application for the fireworks roughly one week after it was filed. The RNC will pay the full costs associated with the event, which will follow Trump’s address from the South Lawn of the White House. The fireworks display is expected to take place around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The permit indicates the RNC is not expecting more than 50 people in the area to conduct the fireworks display. But hundreds of lawmakers and other guests are likely to attend Trump’s speech across the street at the White House, even as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

The president settled on the White House as the backdrop for his speech after the pandemic rendered his original plans of speaking to a crowd in Charlotte, N.C., and later from Jacksonville, Fla., impractical.

Trump’s decision to use the White House as a backdrop for a political speech has drawn outcry from ethics watchdogs and lawmakers in both parties who worry he is politicizing federal property and blatantly using it for his own reelection effort.

The Hatch Act prohibits executive branch officials from campaign activity in their official capacity. While the law does not apply to the president, White House staffers may have a difficult time assisting in the planning and execution of the RNC speech without breaking the law.

Tags 2020 republican convention Donald Trump

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