White House: Aide Did Not Violate Ethics Laws

The White House disputes allegations that a tweet by Trump aide violates federal law against government employees engaging in political activity.

Political Swing previously reported on the initial exchange.

It all began with a tweet from Dan Scavino Jr.. In the tweet, the Trump aide called for loyal supporters to unseat Michigan Congressman Justin Amash.

Dan Scavino lashes out at Rep. Justin Amash in a tweet.

Amash, a Freedom Caucus member and Trump critic, quickly fired back.

Justin Amash responds to Dan Scavino tweet

Rep. Justin Amash’s response to earlier tweet from Dan Scavino, Social Media Director for President Trump.

The exchange eventually led to Daniel Jacobson, former White House lawyer to Obama, claiming Scavino violated the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act is a Depression-era law that states no federal employees can use their position to influence voters.

However, a White House official says that since Scavino used his personal account, not his government account, he violated no laws.

“Dan Scavino’s tweet does not violate the Hatch Act as it clearly comes from his personal account and not his official White House account,” the official said. “He created an official account upon entering the White House to ensure compliance with the Hatch Act. He has taken the necessary steps to ensure there is a clear distinction between both Twitter accounts.”

Can Scavino’s personal Twitter page be “personal”?

Former ethics czar under George W. Bush, Richard Painter, however agrees with Jacobson. With a tweet of his own he threw his hat into the ethics argument ring.

Richard Painter claims Scavino violated the Hatch Act.

Richard Painter responds to White House claim that Dan Scavino Jr. did not violate Hatch Act.

Changes to Scavino’s Twitter page after the accusations only added fuel to the fire.

Questions over the ethical behavior of President Trump and his employees is nothing new. From the moment Trump won the election, he has sent experts into a frenzy with his actions. Whether this newest bump in the road will amount to anything is too soon to tell.

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