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White House Press Secretary Violated Hatch Act, Government Watchdog Finds

Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act after referring to “mega MAGA Republicans” prior to the 2022 midterm election.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act when she repeatedly referred to “mega MAGA Republicans” prior to the 2022 midterm elections, a government watchdog agency said.

NBC News reported the Office of Special Counsel determined that Jean-Pierre’s choice of words when she referred to the Republican candidates was in violation of the Hatch Act.

“Because Ms. Jean‐Pierre made the statements while acting in her official capacity, she violated the Hatch Act prohibition against using her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election,” Ana Galindo‐Marrone wrote in a June 7 letter obtained by NBC News.

The Hatch Act is a law intended to prevent federal employees from using their office to influence elections.

Jean-Pierre used the term during a November 2 press briefing, saying, “mega MAGA Republican officials who don’t believe in the rule of law” after a complaint was filed by the conservative group Protect the Public’s Trust.

Despite the ruling Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act, the issue was closed without any further action needing to be taken.

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“We have decided not to pursue disciplinary action and have instead issued Ms. Jean‐Pierre a warning letter,” Galindo‐Marrone wrote.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates released a statement, saying the White House takes the Hatch Act very seriously.

“As has been made clear throughout the administration, we take the law seriously and uphold the Hatch Act,” Bates said. “We are reviewing this opinion.”

Jean-Pierre has cited the Hatch Act when declining to answer certain questions. She used it to not comment on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s 2024 announcement and when she clarified an answer when she was asked if President Joe Biden would serve all eight years if he is re-elected.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra violated the Hatch Act in 2022 when he supported electing Sen. Alex Padilla to a full term.

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Stephen Anderson
Written By

Stephen Michael is a Political Correspondent based in the United States. He has reached a global audience with his coverage of the 2020 Election and Trump White House. Michael joins Forward Axis News after spending time with the Project Spurs Network since 2014 and covering reality TV in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

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