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Karine Jean-Pierre Violated Hatch Act With ‘MAGA Republicans’ Remarks : Government Watchdog

President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman, who frequently ducks questions about his policies by citing the Hatch Act, violated the Hatch Act.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly excoriated “mega MAGA Republicans” in the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm election. An investigation determined those remarks violated the Hatch Act.

A public nonprofit called her remarks “an inappropriate attempt to influence the vote,” according to an NBC News report. The press secretary reportedly faces no legal consequences despite a determination against her.

Jean-Pierre’s free pass contrasts markedly with the Biden administration’s dogged pursuit of former President Donald Trump over document handling. He was indicted for felony violations of the Espionage Act.

Fox News further reported:

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.”  

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.

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