Report: Bush White House Committed Gross Violations of Hatch Act

The Office of Special Counsel has found gross and knowing violation of the Hatch Act by the Bush White House and specifically its Office of Political Affairs. The OSC Report found that the Bush White House allowed the office to directly support Republican congressional candidates and even allowed the Republican National Committee to work out of the White House. The violations were found to be a “gross abuse of the public trust.”

What is striking about the report is that there could be no serious question that these violations were knowingly committed. The Hatch Act bars the use of federal employees and resources in political activities.

The OSC found “OPA employees, particularly during the 2006 midterm election season, methodically coordinated administration support to aid the campaigns of Republican candidates.” Once again, despite clear violations of federal law by Bush officials, there is only belated action and no one is held accountable. People like Karl Rove and Kenneth Mehlmann simply went on with their careers — uninhibited by such violations. Just one more yawn from folks in the Beltway.

Source: CNN

Jonathan Turley

46 thoughts on “Report: Bush White House Committed Gross Violations of Hatch Act

  1. Jill-

    There is no mistaking the intelligence and passion for justice of the “real” Jill, which is why I always read your posts with great interest. My usual reaction is “I wish I had said that.”

  2. I wish I had said that. I am a Prima Donna. It just has to be all about me. I swear some people are challenged. They do not think like us Jills.

  3. Gyges

    I’ve looked at several sites and the Office of Special Counsel that investigates violations of the Hatch Act is an “independent federal office that has investigative and prosecutorial powers”. When they do an investigation and find a problem, they can send it to DOJ. Apparently in this case they are not going to do that.

    Again:

    “Although rare, criminal charges involving such violations are allowable. But Sheth said he was unaware of any plans to forward the allegations to the Justice Department for further investigation.”

    I’m not sure if DOJ has authority to investigate if no allegations are sent to them, since it’s OSC’s bailiwick. The Executive Branch appoints OSC directors and DOJ attorneys, with congressional approval, but apparently both are independent of the Executive branch which is why they are the ones to investigate Executive violations.

    I’m not sure of any more than this and maybe it is the current administration’s job to investigate previous administrations, but I always thought it was DOJ’s job. I stand ready to be corrected.

    I’m still tired of being harrangued about how “indifferent” to current administration problems all of us are just because we may not vote for a Green, Tea, Libertarian, or Zoastran candidate in 2012.

  4. Rafflaw, Jill Chavez is a shadow. We do seem to have an agent or agent’s provocateur on the Turley blawg that occasionally acts up with passive-aggressive postings posted under a nom de plume and used to make insults or start/continue arguments among the regulars that are dying down. It’s childish.

  5. This is what I’ve been trying to say for a long time: “By Sahil Kapur Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 — 10:01 am

    WASHINGTON – Hundreds of liberal organizers and anti-war activists have signed a petition pledging to oppose President Barack Obama’s renomination in 2012 unless he reverses course in Afghanistan and pushes for significant cuts to military spending.

    “We vow not to support President Barack Obama for renomination for another term in office, and to actively seek to impede his war policies unless and until he reverses them,” the pledge reads.

    From former high-ticket lawmakers to ex-intelligence officials to veterans advocates, the petition (available here) has garnered the support of a multitude noted figures, including Pentagon whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, retired FBI agent Coleen Rowley, and 2006 US Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright.

    “We wanted to express our willingness to take a stand,” said seasoned anti-war activist David Swanson, the creator of the pledge, in an interview with Raw Story. The signatories, he added, declared their “absolute unwillingness to support Obama” unless he “takes on the war machine.”

    “Half of what we wanted to do was simply to inform people of what’s been happening for the past two years,” Swanson said, referring to the growing military budget, the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan and misconceptions about the end of the Iraq war. “People, to a huge extent, don’t even now what’s going on.”

    “So our goal is to pressure him or to replace him, but certainly also to educate people.”

    Swanson said the activists haven’t coalesced around a preferred alternative for the 2012 Democratic nominee, but he described ousted Democrats Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) as potentials who “would be far and away better than President Obama.”

    Two other potential candidates, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), said they won’t run in 2012 and discouraged a Democratic primary challenge, adding to the view that an Obama renomination is a foregone conclusion.

    But Swanson said he and the petitioners rejected the view that liberal activists should settle for flawed Democratic candidates and instead focus their resources on attacking Republicans.

    “I think if you’re going to eliminate the use of party primaries to advance your interests, hold your nose for two full years, and then vote for someone who is against almost everything you stand for, but is just not as bad as somebody else, then you’ve really given up on democracy,” he said.

    “We ought to think of this more in terms of pressuring elected officials to improve where they are, to move in the right direction.”

    Swanson has over the last decade served as a spokesman for Kucinich and progressive entities such as the AFL-CIO affiliated International Labor Communications Association, ACORN, and more recently a campaign called StopTheChamber.com.

    He added that there’s something “incredibly dishonest” about criticizing President George W. Bush’s war and military policies without applying those same standards to Obama.” (rawstory)

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