Washington (AP) — Chief of Staff to President Joe Biden violated the law Retweets of political messages on government Twitter accounts sent warning letters, according to a memo from the Office of the Special Counsel. The White House said Thursday that White House adviser Ron Klein would be more cautious because he was “wrong this time.”
Wednesday’s memo said Crane had violated the Hatch Act, which precludes officials from playing an official role in influencing elections, including those of the candidates they support, while acting in an official capacity. A message from Democratic group STRIKE PAC, retweeted by Klein on May 22, was about getting infant formula to Americans. But the message also included the encouragement, “Let the Democrats deliver the goods today!”
Klain deleted the retweet as soon as he was notified of the complaint. No disciplinary action will be taken and the Bureau, an independent government oversight body that monitors violations of the Hatch Act, considers the matter closed. Crane was warned to be more careful in the future.
America First Legal, a conservative legal group led by President Donald Trump’s adviser Stephen Miller, complained about the tweet and called for an investigation.
Miller and at least a dozen other former Trump administration officials have repeatedly violated the same law, with no consequences, was discovered in 2021, with Trump’s approval, as part of a “willful disregard for the Hatch Act.” The Office of the Special Counsel has investigated comments by Trump officials leading up to the 2020 presidential election, including at the Republican National Convention. , held at the White House, deviated significantly from historical norms.
“We’re not perfect, but we’ve had very few violations,” White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said.
“Ron is very cautious and takes the Hatch Act very seriously in his media appearances and his use of Twitter, but this time he got it wrong,” she said. We fixed it quickly and took seriously the warnings to be more cautious.”
Jean-Pierre often invokes the Hatch method to deflect political questions during news briefings. Earlier this week, she was asked if Biden was doing everything he could to lead the Democrats to victory in his Nov. 8 election.
“This administration respects the Hatch Act, so I have to be careful what I say.