Karine Jean-Pierre violated the act by using the term “mega MAGA”.

Karine Jean-Pierre violated the act by using the term "mega MAGA".

Karine Jean-Pierre violated the law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in political activity by making a reference to “mega Maga Republicans.”

Karine Jean-Pierre:

Since May 13, 2022, American political consultant Karine Jean-Pierre has been the White House press secretary. She holds the distinction of being the position’s first openly LGBT person and a person of color. She formerly worked as Jen Psaki’s deputy press secretary from 2021 to 2022, as well as Kamala Harris’ chief of staff for the 2020 vice presidential race in the United States.

Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act.
Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act.

What is Hatch Act?

An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, the Hatch Act of 1939 is a federal legislation of the United States. Its major clause forbids several forms of political participation by civil service employees in the executive arm of the federal government, with the exception of the president and vice president. On August 2, 1939, it was enacted into law. The statute bears the name of New Mexico Senator Carl Hatch. The most recent change was made in 2012.

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) claimed in a letter first obtained by NBC News and later confirmed by other media outlets: “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 to interfere with or affect the outcome of an election.”

In the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, the Hatch Act received a lot of media attention.

At least 13 Trump officials were found to have knowingly broken the law, according to the OSC in November 2021, a year after Trump left office. This includes those involved with the 2020 Republican National Convention that was held on White House premises.

Hatch Act infractions are frequently reported, which sparks contentious discussions where interest groups and legal experts frequently accuse public servants of violations. In the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, for instance, former FBI Director James Comey came under heavy scrutiny because of his choice to inform Congress of the Hillary Clinton email probe. Even if Comey’s actions weren’t eventually determined to have violated anything, they were widely criticized.

Hatch Act violations don’t just happen under one political administration or party. During the Obama administration, cabinet members including Julian Castro, the secretary of housing and urban development, and Kathleen Sibelius, the secretary of health and human services, received criticism for their political remarks and actions that violated the Hatch Act. The OSC most recently found that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge, violated the Hatch Act earlier this year when she made remarks on Ohio politics from the White House podium.

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