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

Pascrell urges federal probe of Trump’s White House war room

Congressman raises alarms over possible Hatch Act violations.

By Nikita Biryukov, November 04 2020 11:32 am

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) raised called for federal probes over possible Hatch Act violations related to President Donald Trump’s use of the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as campaign war rooms Wednesday.

“Reports suggest that Donald Trump is using space inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as a campaign ‘war room,’” Pascrell said in a letter to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. “Additionally, Mr. Trump is expected to be briefed in the White House residence and the Oval Office throughout the day by campaign officials. These actions put executive branch officials at risk of blatant violations of the law, including the Hatch Act.”

In a speech at the White House delivered early Wednesday morning, Trump baselessly declared victory and said he would go to the U.S. Supreme Court to block swings states from counting legitimately cast ballots after election day. Millions of ballots remain uncounted, and margins in Wisconsin and Michigan that favored the president at the time now show former Vice President Joe Biden leading.

Trump’s campaign has said the campaign paid for all equipment and WiFi used from the White House locations, adding no administration staff were involved in the war room, but Pascrell, a frequent Trump critic, isn’t willing to take the president’s campaign at its word.

“I take potential violations of the Hatch Act very seriously and expect that your office will not ignore blatant violations of the law happening on Election Day,” he said. “I look forward to working with you to better understand why Donald Trump is being allowed to abuse taxpayer resources.”

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