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HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge may have violated Hatch Act with comments at White House

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Fudge joined White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at Thursday’s briefing, where she was asked about the special election to fill her vacancy in Congress.

Although Fudge did not want to intervene in the house race, he told reporters that he thought Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, both Democrats, were strong candidates to run for office. currently held by Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who announced in January he would not seek re-election when his current term ends in 2022.

“I think we’ll put a good person in this race no matter who we choose, but we’re both friends,” said Fudge, who added, “I think we have a good chance. I know people have written in Ohio. I haven’t canceled. Ohio. I think we can win the race in the Senate. “

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the agency responsible for investigating violations of the Hatch Act, the rule prohibits federal employees from “using their official titles or positions while engaged in political activity,” including “any activity aimed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for a partisan political office, or partisan political group.”

An OSC spokesman told CNN on Friday that the office could not comment or confirm whether an investigation into Fudge’s comments has been opened. A HUD spokesman told CNN on Friday that the agency made no comment. The White House declined to comment on the issue Friday.

“The Hatch Act prohibits officials from defending for or against candidates in partisan political elections in their official capacity,” Jordan Libowitz, who acts as director of communications for Citizens for Accountability, told CNN on Friday. nonpartisan ethics in Washington. “Speaking of which candidates can win elections enters dangerous territory. Our legal team is reviewing this situation for a possible infraction, but regardless of whether there are any, it would be best for Cabinet secretaries to completely avoid the issue. “.

The Washington Post reported for the first time on the possible violation of the Fudge Hatch Act on Friday
Under former President Donald Trump, the White House routinely ignored violations of the Hatch Act, especially by senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who so often violated the Office of Special Advisers. he recommended that she be removed of the federal service. Some former Trump officials – including his trade adviser Peter Navarro, former Attorney General William Barr, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, then-acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and former Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue – were criticized for having violated the act, though none was ever rebuked. .
The office also investigated whether Trump’s Republican National Convention speech, delivered from the White House last August, affected the act, although he concluded that no since Trump, as president, was exempt.

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