(CNN)Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a Hatch Act complaint against White House press secretary Jen Psaki, alleging that she appeared to have endorsed Terry McAuliffe during a White House press briefing on Thursday.
According to the US Office of Special Counsel, the agency charged with investigating Hatch Act violations, the law prohibits federal employees from “using their official titles or positions while engaged in political activity,” including “any activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.”
During the briefing, Psaki acknowledged that she could not make an endorsement from the podium, saying, “I have to be a little careful about how much political analysis I do from here, and not, not traipse into that too much.”
She then told reporters: “We’re going to do everything we can to help former Governor McAuliffe, and we believe in the agenda he’s representing.”
CREW took issue with that particular answer, saying in a news release that Psaki acknowledged the limitations that the Hatch Act puts on the statements she could make from the podium. However, the group believed that she stepped over the line with her comment.
The group noted in its release that Donald Trump’s White House routinely ignored violations of the Hatch Act, most notably from senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who violated the rule so frequently the Office of Special Counsel recommended she be removed from federal service.
A number of former Trump officials — including his trade adviser Peter Navarro, former Attorney General William Barr, former Secretary of S
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