Obama Administration's Weaponization
of Agencies and Violations of the Hatch Act
The Hatch Act -
The Hatch Act of 1939, also known as “An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities” is a federal law that prevents employees of the executive branch of the United States government from partaking in certain types of political activity. Some members of the executive are exempt from the law, including the President, The Vice President, and designated high-ranking officials.
The act was sponsored by New Mexico Senator Carl Hatch, in response to improprieties by the Democratic Party during the 1938 congressional elections. A number of provisions are included in the act, in an attempt to hold fair elections without sway from the executive branch. These include:
- Forbidding of intimidation or bribery of voters
- Restriction of political campaign activities by federal employees
- Prohibition of funds for public works used for electoral purposes
- Forbidding of officials paid with federal funds from promising jobs or contracts in exchange for campaign contributions or political support
- Forbidding persons below “policy-making” level in the executive branch from taking any active part in political campaigns
- Prohibition of Federal employees from joining, “any political organization which advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”
The Hatch Act does not apply to actively serving members of the military, though it does apply to civil servants of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Obama Administration
Beginning in his first term, the administration of Barack Obama undertook a number of activities to weaponize agencies of the Federal Government in order to secure his reelection in 2012, and to attempt to sway the election of 2016 towards Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. After Clinton lost the election on November 8, 2016, the Obama administration spent its final days attempting to turn its political weaponry into a series of land mines for the incoming administration of Donald John Trump. Below is an examination of the Hatch Act violations of the Obama administration, broken down by department. Included in each violation is a brief commentary on the “opposing viewpoint” of the liberal media, and or Democratic party.
Health and Human Services
In what is considered the most high-profile case of a violation of the Hatch Act, on February 25, 2012, then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, in remarks to a Human Rights Campaign Event in Charlotte, North Carolina, announced that people should make sure Obama “continues to be president for another four years.” Sebelius, at the time, was in charge of the disastrous launch of the Healthcare.gov web site, for which she was ultimately forced to resign. Calls at the time for her immediate resignation went unheard, as the Obama administration brushed the incident off as, “extemporaneous partisan remarks."
Opposing viewpoint: Liberals and left-wing extremists will note that Sebelius apologized for her remarks, claiming they were an accident and made off-the-cuff. Sebelius claims the violation was minor and that she paid back the Department of Health and Human Services for her trip.
Source: 3, 2017 October, 2017 October 2, and 2017 September 28. "CoA Calls On Pres. Obama to Fire HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius." Cause of Action Institute. N.p., 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 04 Oct. 2017.
Source: "White House Indicates Sebelius Won't Be Punished over Hatch Act Violation." Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Special Counsel Cites Sebelius for Hatch Act Violation." CNN. Cable News Network, 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.)
A slightly less high-profile case, but nonetheless egregious is the case of John J. Hickey, deputy associate administrator for aviation safety at the F.A.A., and Raymond Towles, deputy director of flight standards field operations. On May 23, 2012, at a staff meeting of subordinates, Hickey was reported as saying, “if the Republicans win office [their] jobs may be effected [sic]…if the Democrats win office then [their] jobs would not be effected [sic].” It was then reported that both Hickey and Towles continued to hold mandatory meetings among their subordinates with the same message. Whistleblowers reported the actions of Hickey and Towles to the Deputy Regional Counsel in the F.A.A.’s Northwest Mountain Region Office, who was said to have had investigated the incident. Essentially, employees of the F.A.A. were being told how to vote, if they wanted to keep their jobs.
Opposing viewpoint: The F.A.A. responded with a simple statement: “The FAA takes Hatch Act violation allegations very seriously and will cooperate fully with any review of the allegations." They refused to offer further comments on the status of any investigations.
Source: 3, 2017 October, 2017 October 2, and 2017 September 28. "Cause of Action Exposes Potential Hatch Act Violation at the FAA." Cause of Action Institute. N.p., 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Senior FAA Officials Accused of Telling Workers 'job Security' at Risk If GOP Wins." Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Administration May Be Stalling Investigation." Washington Free Beacon. N.p., 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.)
Twice, during the 2016 presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did former F.B.I. Director James Comey violate the Hatch Act, using the office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help sway the election in favor of Clinton. In July of 2016, Comey publicly cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing in the investigation into her use of a private email server, a task usually left to prosecutors. The following October, just before the election, Comey once again inserted himself into the fray after more evidence of wrongdoing was found on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Again, he publicly cleared Clinton, going as far as to say he would not recommend charges be brought against her. At the time, former ethics lawyer to George W. Bush, Richard Painter, filed a complaint stating Comey violated the Hatch Act.
Almost one year later it was revealed that Comey had cleared Clinton before completing the investigation. He had written a letter exonerating her before interviewing her during the course of the investigation. To date, Comey has not been publicly reprimanded for Hatch Act violations, though, in May of 2017, President Donald Trump took the extraordinary step of removing him from office for his handling of the Clinton email investigation.
Opposing viewpoint: Constitutional Law expert Jonathan Turley laid out the liberal case when he wrote, “[There is] no evidence to suggest that Comey wants to influence the election or favors either candidate. Intent is key under the Hatch investigations.”
Source: Ackerman, Spencer. "FBI Director James Comey May Be under Investigation for Hatch Act Violation." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 31 Oct. 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Schuppe, Jon. "What Is the Hatch Act? Who Is Comey? And Other Questions in Clinton Email Case." NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 31 Oct. 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Roberts, Dan, and David Smith. "FBI Rebukes Clinton but Recommends 'no Charges' in Email Investigation." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 05 July 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Conway, Madeline, Matt Valentine, Rich Lowry, Bill Scher, and Grant Duwe. "Trump: Comey's Clinton Email Investigation Part of 'rigged System'." POLITICO. N.p., 01 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Elura. "Why It Probably Won’t Matter Even If James Comey Violated The Hatch Act." LawNewz. LawNewz, 01 Nov. 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Department of Justice (D.O.J.)
Former F.B.I. Director James Comey publicly testified under oath that Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch directed him to refer to the Clinton email investigation as a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” This was a clear attempt to coordinate with the Clinton campaign’s messaging about the scandal. Messaging coordination is considered collusion with a campaign, also defined as a type of “donation” under the Hatch Act. According to the Department of Justice web site, “further restricted employees may not campaign for or against candidates or otherwise engage in political activity in concert with a political party, a candidate for partisan political office, or a partisan political group.”
The messaging coordination between the Department of Justice under Lynch and the Clinton campaign became public when media reports surfaced that Lynch had met privately with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the middle of the investigation. As Comey testified under oath, “That language tracked the way that the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work, and that’s concerning. I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate. We had a criminal investigation open, and so that gave me a queasy feeling.”
Opposing viewpoint: Jed Shugerman, a law professor at Fordham University noted that, “it does not rise to obstruction, because it was wording/semantic,” the issue of Lynch’s use of the word “matter.”
Source: "FBI Has 'reopened' Case on Search for Lynch-Clinton Tarmac Meeting Records." Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: View, Our. "Comey and Lynch Broke the Law, Coordinated Messaging with Clinton Campaign [VIDEO]." Red Alert Politics. N.p., 12 June 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Steakin, William. "Law Expert: Loretta Lynch's Intrusion into Clinton Email Investigation 'probably Changed History'." AOL.com. Allan Smith, 09 June 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.)
The Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) under President Barack Obama had a long history of being used as a weapon for political gain, with some occurrences more public than others. During the 2012 election cycle Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt organizations, admitted to targeting for extra scrutiny tax-exempt organizations that included the words “tea-party” or “patriot.” The scandal began in the I.R.S. offices in Cincinnati, and although Lerner apologized for the actions of the I.R.S., she tried to brush it off as the work of some “low-level staffers.”
Lesser known is the fact that, in April of 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee voted out a referral letter of criminality, in regards to Lerner, to then-Attorney General Eric Holder. Not only did Lerner approve of weeding out Tea Party organizations, but she attempted to gain a position in Organizing for America during the 2012 campaign cycle, the community organizing arm of the Democratic National Committee that grew out of the Obama for President campaign. In fact, investigations have shown that the I.R.S. is packed with Democratic operatives, with employees in Dallas promoting the election of Barack Obama, and employees in Kentucky found criticizing Republicans while on duty, just to name a few examples. Hatch Act violations at the I.R.S. in favor of the Obama administration were egregious and plentiful.
Opposing viewpoint: Mother Jones argued that by August of 2013 the scandal was fizzling, and attempted to make the case that both liberal and conservative groups were targeted. By June of 2013, Congressman Elijah Cumming was quoted as saying, “"Based upon everything I've seen, the case is solved. And if it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on." All this was based on an alleged PowerPoint presentation from the I.R.S.
Source: Spakovsky, Hans Von. "Partisan Political Chanting at the IRS." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Bade, Rachael, Grant Duwe, Matt Valentine, Rich Lowry, and Bill Scher. "GOP: Lerner Targeted Crossroads." POLITICO. N.p., 10 Apr. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Lois Lerner One of Many at IRS." Tea Party Patriots. N.p., 27 July 2015. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: PHILLIP, ABD. "Tea Party Rejects IRS Apology, Republicans Vow Investigation." ABC News. ABC News Network, 10 May 2013. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: FoxBusinessNetwork. "IRS Scandal: Lois Lerner Committed a Felony, Tea Party Leader Says." YouTube. YouTube, 18 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Drum, Kevin. "Here's the Latest Fizzle in the IRS "scandal"." Mother Jones. N.p., 24 June 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "UPDATE 1- Republican IRS Agent Says Cincinnati Began 'Tea Party' Inquiries." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 09 June 2013. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.)
Investigations into the 2016 election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump found that the United States Postal Service created a culture that resulted in “systemic violations” of the Hatch Act, and that in fact the Postal Service held an “institutional bias” towards Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. The Postal Service was found to have improperly coordinated with the Clinton campaign, going so far as to cover $90,000 in overtime for employees who wished to campaign for Clinton. The process was complicated, but according to CNN:
According to the report, the union would provide a list of USPS employees to USPS, asking they be put on unpaid leave to participate in the political effort. Then the USPS management would disperse the lists, which were viewed lower down as "directives," to give the letter carriers time off, including telling local supervisors to do so over concerns it would affect postal operations. The union would pay the employees out of its own political fund during their time off.
Further investigation showed that these violations by the U.S.P.S. may date as far back as the 1990’s.
Opposing Viewpoint: The postal service claims it worked with the OSC to “design corrective measures,” but outside of that did not deny the allegations.
Source: Watkins, Eli. "Report: USPS Improperly Enabled Workers Who Helped Clinton Campaign." CNN. Cable News Network, 19 July 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Katz, Eric. "USPS Vows Corrective Action to 'Systemic Violations' of Hatch Act During 2016 Election." Government Executive. N.p., 19 July 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Rosas, Julio. "US Postal Service Feeling the Heat After Allegedly Breaking Federal Law to Help Hillary Clinton." IJR - Independent Journal Review. Independent Journal Review, 19 July 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Davies, Emily. "Systemic Politically-biased Practices Found in US Postal Service, Marshfield Mail Carrier Acts as Whistleblower." WSAW - Content - News. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Elizalde, Elizabeth. "USPS Violated Law by Pushing Workers to Campaign for Clinton." NY Daily News. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 19 July 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.)
John Brennan, former Director of the C.I.A. under Barack Obama, is known to have sought to keep his position under a possible Hillary Clinton administration. Teaming up with British and Estonian spies, Brennan attempted to thwart Trump’s candidacy, and later his presidency, by using phony foreign intelligence as a cover to monitor a computer at Trump Tower, and to wiretap members of the Trump campaign. According to The American Spectator, Brennan used the C.I.A. as another campaign office for Clinton, and gave cover to Susan Rice and others in their attempts to unmask Trump campaign advisors, essentially fabricating “the Russian scandal” out of thin air. Brennan, it is reported, would take so called “tips” from his foreign sources, and pass them on to Congress, hoping they would leak out into to liberal mainstream media, like The New York Times, which they did.
Opposing Viewpoint: According to CNN, “John Brennan told House Russia investigators ...that Russia "brazenly interfered" in US elections, including actively contacting members of the President Donald Trump's campaign -- but he stopped shy of dubbing it "collusion." “
Source: "Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump." The American Spectator. N.p., 29 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Secret Revealed: CIA Director John Brennan Ordered Directly the Surveillance Of Trump Team." YouTube. YouTube, 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: LoBianco, Tom. "Ex-CIA Chief: Russians Contacted Trump Camp." CNN. Cable News Network, 23 May 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (O.D.N.I.)
James Clapper, as former head of the Office of National Intelligence appeared on Meet the Press and said in an interview with Chuck Todd on March 5, 2017:
I would certainly hope so. I can't say-- obviously, I'm not, I can't speak officially anymore. But I will say that, for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against-- the president elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign. I can't speak for other Title Three authorized entities in the government or a state or local entity.
Seven months later it had become public that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was indeed under surveillance through a FISA warrant, and had been for a number of years. This is clear evidence of Clapper attempting to cover-up for both the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign, a use of the entire National Security apparatus as a violation of the Hatch act. In September of 2017, when Clapper was questioned again, this time by CNN’s Don Lemon, he was forced to concede that a wiretap was “conceivable,” though he refused to outright admit it.
Opposing Viewpoint: CNN summed up the left’s view of this when they wrote, “The Justice Department tapping Manafort's phone -- even at his residence at Trump Tower (which we don't know if they actually did) -- is not the same thing as Obama ordering Trump's "wires tapped."”
Source: Posted By Ian Schwartz On Date September 21, 2017. "Clapper: "Possible" That Trump Was Recorded On Manafort Wiretap, "Conceivable"." Video | RealClearPolitics. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Streiff. "FLASHBACK. Remember James Clapper Lying About Surveillance of the Trump Campaign." RedState. N.p., 19 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Cillizza, Chris. "Donald Trump Still Has No Evidence That His Wiretapping Claim Was Right." CNN. Cable News Network, 19 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
National Security Agency (N.S.A.)
The Obama administration took extra measures to ensure secrecy, by allowing the GCHQ, a British intelligence and security organization, access to N.S.A. databases to spy on the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump. According to Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News, “statutes allow the president to order the surveillance of any person in the U.S., without suspicion, probable cause or a warrant, but that would leave ‘fingerprints.’” Hence the reason Obama decided to use foreign surveillance agencies against Trump. Bill Binney, a former employee of the N.S.A. turned whistleblower confirmed that these are the tactics of the N.S.A. Binney stated, "I think the president is absolutely right. His phone calls, everything he did electronically, was being monitored."
Opposing Viewpoint: According to an article in The Guardian, ”The NSA director, Michael Rogers, made clear that it would have been a violation of US law to ask the British to conduct such an operation.”
Source: Mills, Curt. "NSA Whistleblower Backs Trump Up on Wiretap Claims." USNews. N.p., 07 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Judge Nap: Obama 'Went Outside Chain of Command,' Used British Spy Agency to Surveil Trump." Fox News. FOX News Network, 16 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Ackerman, Spencer. "NSA Director Says British Intelligence Was Not Asked to Spy on Trump." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 20 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
The State Department, then under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had left the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya, in such disarray it hired outside security contractors to clean up the situation, just two weeks before a terrorist attack on the compound. Then, under guidance from Clinton and the Obama administration, the contractors were pressured to keep their role quiet, all this at the height of the 2012 election campaign between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. According to Fox News, “Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.” This, of course, pales in comparison to the State Department response to the incident, claiming it was a result of a video found on YouTube, or the fact that the State Department attempted to hide emails in reference to Benghazi to help Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The State Department found itself in more hot water in 2014, when Department Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard, was found to have violated the Hatch Act by involving himself in the mayoral campaign for Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City.
Opposing Viewpoint: Rachel Maddow of MSNBC summed up the left’s response to Benghazi succinctly when she said of conservative media, “they have to make it bad news, they have to make into maybe a scandal itself.” In other words, the left feels Benghazi was a fake scandal.
Source: "Clinton State Department Silenced Them on Benghazi Security Lapses, Contractors Say." Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Hayes: State Dept Did Everything They Could to Hide Clinton-Benghazi Emails." Fox News. FOX News Network, 10 Aug. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Clinton State Department Silenced Them on Benghazi Security Lapses, Contractors Say." Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Josh-feldman. "Maddow: U.S. Got the Suspect and 'Benghazi Central' Fox News Doesn't Care?" Mediaite. Mediaite, 17 June 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
The Foreign Intelligence Services Court (FISC or FISA)
During the 2016 presidential campaign, two FISA court surveillance requests were made by the F.B.I. against the Trump campaign, under the authority of the Obama administration. The first one, which was broad based, and targeted then-candidate Donald Trump, was denied by the court. The second, which was said to be much more limited in scope, covering computer servers in Trump Tower, was granted by the court. According to The Gateway Pundit, “Again, this FISA request was issued with no definitive proof/evidence that Trump had any nefarious ties to Russia – instead, it bears the hallmarks of a political witch hunt.” Furthermore, the judge that issued the warrant, could be facing jail time for the illegal political maneuver.
Furthermore, the F.B.I. used the FISA court to monitor Trump advisor Carter Page, claiming that he, according to CNN, “knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow.” Then, if that was not enough, U.S. investigators used secret court orders to monitor former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, both before and after the election. Example, after example exists of the Obama administration using the secret FISA courts for political gain, clearly a violation of the Hatch act, and perhaps of a criminal nature.
Opposing Viewpoint: Liberals will say that the existence of the warrants themselves are proof enough of the validity of the scandal, as this quote from the Washington Post shows, “A FISA warrant is another matter. It means investigators have demonstrated probable cause to an independent judicial authority. Obtaining a warrant actually says much more about the strength of the underlying allegations than issuing a grand jury subpoena.”
Source: Perez, Evan, Shimon Prokupecz, and Pamela Brown. "US Government Wiretapped Trump Campaign Chair." CNN. Cable News Network, 19 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Green, Miranda, and Manu Raju. "FBI Monitored Former Trump Campaign Adviser Carter Page on Russia." CNN. Cable News Network, 12 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "REPORT: FBI Said to Have 'Granted FISA Warrant' To Wiretap TRUMP Tower… MSM Claims Trump 'Provided No Evidence'." The Gateway Pundit. N.p., 04 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Eliason, Randall D. "Opinion | The FBI Wiretap on Paul Manafort Is a Big Deal. Here's Why." The Washington Post. WP Company, 19 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Samantha Power, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations spent the final days of the Obama administration illegally unmasking the names of Trump officials who surfaced in foreign intelligence reports. Powers, in the last year of the Obama administration alone, unmasked the names of 260 people, an unheard of number for a United Nations Ambassador. This went on up until the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Congressman Devin Nunes uncovered the scandal, noting that the two had no intelligence gathering purposes for all of their unmasking.
Opposing Viewpoint: Liberals, like former N.S.A. Director Keith Alexander will say that unmasking is routine. From an NBC article, they write, “Requesting that is a routine thing for national security advisers to do, according to former senior officials, including Keith Alexander, who directed the National Security Agency.”
Source: Vespa, Matt. "Samantha Power And Susan Rice: The Apparent Gruesome Twosome In The Unmasking Of Americans." Townhall. Townhall.com, 21 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Samantha Power Sought to Unmask Americans on Almost Daily Basis, Sources Say." Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Posted By Tim Hains On Date May 31, 2017. "James Rosen: Unmasking Obama's Unmaskers, Subpoenas Served to Susan Rice, John Brennan & Samantha Power." James Rosen: Unmasking Obama's Unmaskers, Subpoenas Served to Susan Rice, John Brennan & Samantha Power | Video | RealClearPolitics. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Dilanian, Ken. "What Is Unmasking, and Did Susan Rice Do Anything Wrong?" NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 04 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.)
Federal Election Commission lawyer April Sands was forced to resign her position after hosting a highly partisan online web chat live from the F.EC. offices, where she campaigned for Barack Obama in 2012. She ran a twitter account as well, on F.E.C. time, under the handle @ReignOfApril, where she sent out messages such as:
I just don’t understand how anyone but straight white men can vote Republican. What kind of delusional rhetorical [sic] does one use?
Dear every single Republican ever, When will U learn that Barack Hussein Obama is simply smarter than U? Stand down, Signed #Obama2012 #p2
In an interesting plot twist, Sands, who is a former colleague of Lois Lerner at the I.R.S. was accused of destroying her hard drive to impede the investigation. The entire operation was run by the Obama-era F.E.C., as The Daily Caller noted, “The FEC’s Office of Inspector General sought to conduct a criminal investigation into Sands’ activities but were stymied when they found that the agency had recycled her computer hard drive.”
Opposing Viewpoint: The OSC at first refused to release Sands’ name, and had brushed off the incident as a “rogue” employee.
Source: Ross, Chuck. "Lois Lerner’s Former FEC Colleague Has Emails Go Missing Too." The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller, 15 July 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Carney, Eliza Newlin. "Senator Questions Hatch Act Violation at FEC." Roll Call. N.p., 30 Apr. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: LSUDVM. "April Sands', Lerner's Ex-FEC Colleague, Hard Drive Also Crashes; Resigns For Hatch Act Violations." YouTube. YouTube, 16 July 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.)
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Barack Obama, Julian Castro, became the second cabinet-level appointee to violate the Hatch Act, this time in support of 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Even more egregious, his name was on several short-lists to become the Vice-presidential nominee, though the spot ultimately went to Senator Tim Kaine. In an interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric, Castro used his position as Secretary of H.U.D. to bolster the campaign of Clinton, attempting to subvert the Hatch Act by claiming he was, “taking off [his] H.U.D. hat for a second and just speaking individually.”
The Office of the Special Counsel made an official determination that he was in violation of the Hatch Act.
Opposing Viewpoint: Again, Castro claims he thought he was following the law by stating that he was, “taking off [his] H.U.D. hat for a second and just speaking individually,” in the middle of the interview.
Source: Bradner, Eric. "Castro Violated Hatch Act by Touting Clinton." CNN. Cable News Network, 18 July 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Tuffyjon. "OSC - Julian Castro Violated Hatch Act July 19, 2016." YouTube. YouTube, 19 July 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
The Trump administration has suffered from more leaks in its first ten months than most administrations suffer in four or eight years. More than just Hatch Act violations used for political gain, these leaks amount to a “Deep State” coup attempt against Trump himself. From January 5, before he took office, when there were leaks about the supposed Russia hacking, to August 3, when a transcript of his phone call with the Australian Prime minister was leaked, Trump has been the victim of an intelligence community who, without trying to add too much hyperbole, is trying to destroy him. Even former F.B.I. Director James Comey admitted under oath to leaking memos in an attempt to have a Special Counsel appointed, an attempt that was ultimately successful.
Opposing Viewpoint: Liberal media will claim the leaks are good for America because, as Erin Burnett of CNN said, “But if it weren't for these leaks, we wouldn't know how many lies there are. Because what these leaks are repeatedly exposing is that this White House has lied again and again."
Source: Kinery, Emma. "As Jeff Sessions Announces Leak Crackdown, Here Are 12 Major Leaks of the Trump Era." USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 04 Aug. 2017. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: "Scale of Media Leaks against Trump Indicates US Deep State Coup Agenda." RT International. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Reasons., There Are Hundreds of. "Trump Team Decries Leaks, but without Them, We Wouldn't Know about the Lies." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack engaged in clear Hatch Act violation in 2012 when, in response to proposed budgets by both President Barack Obama, who was running for re-election at the time, and the Republican controlled House, Vilsack told his employees in the department that the Republican budget would call for severe cuts to the department. In a memo to department employees, Vilsack wrote, “"As I have said on many occasions the budget challenges we face are unprecedented. It is part of the reason why we must build an improved USDA through cultural transformation and our work to improve administrative services as part of the Blueprint for Stronger Service … I will continue to keep you advised as the budget discussions unfold." Many accused him, rightly, of violating the Hatch Act by threatening his employees jobs during an election season.
Opposing Viewpoint: Former Bush administration ethics lawyer Richard Painter says Vilsack did not directly threaten his employees, but the motive behind his memo was clear.
Source: "Down the Hatch." Washington Free Beacon. N.p., 09 Apr. 2012. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
The Obama administration was not above using his family to violate the Hatch Act for political gain. Buzzfeed reported that in 2012 during Obama’s re-election campaign the Maryland Democratic Party sent out emails using Obama’s brother in-law, Konrad Ng, and his position as the Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, to solicit for political activities. Buzzfeed also noted that, “Ng’s wife, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is identified as Obama’s sister in the email, which advertises a conference call organized by the Obama campaign in Chicago.”
Opposing Viewpoint: The Obama campaign admitted to the violation, but said it was a mistake. In their response they said, “We have been careful on this point at every possible turn, but sometimes there are slips beyond our control. In all other communications we are aware of he was listed as brother-in-law.”
Source: "Family Matters." Washington Free Beacon. N.p., 04 May 2012. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.
Source: Miller, Zeke. "Obama In-Law In Apparent Hatch Act Violation." BuzzFeed. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2017.