Treasury retweets Trump, possibly violating campaign law

Treasury retweets Trump, possibly violating campaign law
© Anna Moneymaker

The Treasury Department on Wednesday retweeted a post from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE celebrating Republican wins in congressional elections this year, potentially violating federal campaign law.

The department’s official Twitter account shared a tweet from Trump touting results from elections held Tuesday night and an upcoming “Red Wave” of GOP congressional victors.

“Great Republican election results last night. So far we have the team we want. 8 for 9 in Special Elections. Red Wave!” Trump tweeted at 8:30 a.m.

Treasury deleted the retweet soon after media outlets raised questions about its legality.

A department spokesperson told The Hill that the retweet "was done in error and has been taken down."

Treasury’s retweet of a campaign-related post appears to risk violating the Hatch Act, a law that bans federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or serving in any official capacity.

Several Trump administration officials have been found to have violated the Hatch Act by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which enforces ethics rules for federal employees. The agency is not related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE or his Russia investigation.

The OSC said in March that top White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China The White House and schools have this in common: Asbestos George Conway: 'I hereby order White House staff' to admit Trump to 'Walter Reed' MORE violated the Hatch Act twice in TV appearances when she “impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates.”

The agency also warned Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Mike O’Rielly in May that he violated the Hatch Act when he called on voters to support Trump and GOP candidates at a conservative political convention.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE was also found to have violated the act by retweeting an endorsement from Trump in October. And Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, was also found to have violated the act last year after encouraging potential GOP challengers to oust Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashLawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Sanford headed to New Hampshire amid talk of challenge to Trump MORE (R-Mich.).

Government watchdog nonprofits have also filed several other Hatch Act complaints against top Trump administration officials for tweets supporting the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed complaints against 10 administration officials earlier this month, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump's latest plan to undermine Social Security Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE.