Home>Congress>Federal watchdog launches Hatch Act probe over Trump’s election night war room

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Federal watchdog launches Hatch Act probe over Trump’s election night war room

By Nikita Biryukov, November 05 2020 6:49 pm

The Office of Special Counsel is investigating President Donald Trump’s use of the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for campaign war rooms, the independent agency said in a letter to Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson).

In the letter, the office said it had launched a probe to determine whether Trump’s use of the federal buildings for an election-night campaign headquarters violated the Hatch Act, which forbids public officials from using public resources for political purposes.

The president’s campaign claimed their use of the buildings was approved, but the Special Counsel said they weren’t consulted on the matter.

“I applaud the Office of Special Counsel for opening an investigation to determine if Donald Trump and members of the executive branch flagrantly broke the law,” Pascrell said. “Despite preposterous claims from Trump’s lackeys, the proper officials were not consulted to prevent any illegal actions. I look forward to a complete and transparent review whether Donald Trump turning federal property into a campaign command center and party room violated the Hatch Act.”

Pascrell raised the issue to the Special Counsel in a letter on Tuesday.

The congressman, one of the state’s chief Trump critics, also went after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a top Republican donor, who defied a court order to sweep post offices for undelivered mail-in ballots on election day.

On Thursday, the agency said it delivered 150,000 ballots after election day. Of those, 12,000 were cast in states that have not been called for Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Postal operations have been damaged through DeJoy’s calculated sabotage. Medicines, pay checks, and other lifeblood necessities are being held up,” Pascrell said. “The USPS’s defiance of a federal court order can only be laid at the feet of Louis DeJoy. Mr. DeJoy deserves to be slapped with a contempt of court order and also must be held accountable in a criminal court for his arson of our Post Office.”

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