Presidential aide violated federal law with political tweet, says Office of Special Counsel

An aide to President Trump has been reprimanded for a tweet calling for the defeat of Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., a Trump critic.

A review by the Office of Special Counsel concluded that an April 1 tweet from Dan Scavino Jr., the White House director of social media, violated the Hatch Act of 1939 by urging Trump supporters (the “#TrumpTrain”) to vote against “big liability” Rep. Amash in a primary election. 

The Hatch Act prohibits unelected senior executive branch officials from engaging in political activity.

Following a request from Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the OSC investigated the allegation, determined Scavino had violated federal law and issued him a warning letter.

“Mr. Scavino has been advised that in the future if engaged in prohibited political activity while in a position covered by the Hatch Act, we will consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law, which could result in further action pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 1215,” said the OSC in a response to Sen. Carper.

In addition, the OSC noted, Scavino was counseled by the Office of the White House Counsel and his personal Twitter account did not reveal new violations.

The full text of the OSC’s letter to Sen. Carper can
be found on the senator’s website.