President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman, who often evades questions about his policies by citing the Hatch Act, has been found to have violated the Hatch Act herself.
During the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm election, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly criticized “mega MAGA Republicans.” Following an investigation, it was concluded that her remarks were in violation of the Hatch Act.
According to an NBC News report, a public nonprofit described her comments as “an inappropriate attempt to influence the vote.” Surprisingly, the press secretary is reportedly not facing any legal consequences despite the determination against her.
This leniency towards Jean-Pierre sharply contrasts with the Biden administration’s relentless pursuit of former President Donald Trump regarding allegations of mishandling documents. Trump faced felony charges under the Espionage Act.
Additional reporting by Fox News suggests:
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act, the federal law limiting certain political activities of federal employees to prevent influencing elections, one government watchdog has found.
According to the Office of Special Counsel, Jean-Pierre committed the violation last year ahead of the 2022 midterm elections when she repeatedly referred to “mega MAGA Republicans” while acting in her role as White House press secretary.
“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,” the agency wrote in a letter dated June 7 shared with NBC News.
Jean-Pierre, who frequently cites the Hatch Act during the daily White House press briefing to avoid answering questions related to President Biden’s re-election campaign or other candidates, made the comments during a briefing on Nov. 2.
“Unfortunately, we have seen mega MAGA Republican officials who don’t believe in the rule of law. They refuse to accept the results of free and fair elections and they fan the flames of political violence through what they praise and what they refuse to condemn. It remains important for the President to state strongly and unequivocally that violence has no place in our democracy,” she said.
Biden previously introduced the term “mega MAGA” on Oct. 21 while attacking Republican economic policies as “mega MAGA trickle down.”
The agency’s letter went on to describe Jean-Pierre’s comments as “an inappropriate attempt to influence the vote,” but added that it “decided to close this matter without further action.”
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The letter also noted that White House Counsel “did not at the time believe that Ms. Jean‐Pierre’s remarks were prohibited,” and said it had issued Jean-Pierre “a warning letter.”
When reached for comment, a White House official told Fox News, “As has been made clear throughout the administration, we take the law seriously and uphold the Hatch Act. We are reviewing this opinion.”
A person familiar with the complaint noted that the White House under former President Donald Trump used the phrase “Make America Great Again” for official purposes thousands of times to describe his administration’s policies. The phrase was the official slogan of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Additionally, they pointed to congressional Republicans similarly using the term “MAGA” for official purposes concerning legislation and other policy proposals.