Home Don Beyer Reps. Beyer, Lieu Seek Office Of Special Counsel Investigation Of Jared Kushner...

Reps. Beyer, Lieu Seek Office Of Special Counsel Investigation Of Jared Kushner For Hatch Act Violations

0

From Rep. Don Beyer’s office:

Beyer, Lieu Seek Office Of Special Counsel Investigation Of Jared Kushner For Hatch Act Violations

June 17, 2019 (Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) today wrote to Special Counsel Henry Kerner to request an investigation of White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner for violations of the Hatch Act.

“We write to request that the Office of Special Counsel open an investigation to determine whether Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner is violating the Hatch Act by engaging in prohibited campaign fundraising activities.

“Alarmingly, recent media reports indicate that Mr. Kushner is… taking a direct role in raising funds for the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump.

“These reports strongly suggest that Kushner is violating the Hatch Act’s prohibitions against any Executive agency employees ‘knowingly solicit[ing], accept[ing], or receiv[ing] a political contribution from any person.’  As your office noted [last week] in its statement recommending the removal of Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway from federal service, ‘Although the President and Vice President are exempt from the Hatch Act, employees of the White House are not.’”

The Office of Special Counsel is an independent federal agency responsible for enforcing violations of the Hatch Act, which bans Executive agency employees from participating in certain campaign activities.

Beyer and Lieu’s request, which follows their previous oversight letters related to Kushner’s security clearance, shortly after the Office of Special Counsel recommended that Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway be dismissed from federal service for repeated violations of the Hatch Act.

Text of the letter is below, and a signed copy is available here.

***
June 17, 2019

The Honorable Henry Kerner
Special Counsel
Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street NW, Suite 218

Washington, DC, 20036

Dear Mr. Kerner:

We write to request that the Office of Special Counsel open an investigation to determine whether Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner is violating the Hatch Act by engaging in prohibited campaign fundraising activities.

As you know, under the Hatch Act, federal employees are prohibited from fundraising for political candidates.[1] Alarmingly, recent media reports indicate that Mr. Kushner is nonetheless taking a direct role in raising funds for the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump. Last month, Yahoo News reported that Kushner “has multiple daily conversations with [Trump Campaign Manager Brad] Parscale” from the West Wing.[2] The New York Times subsequently reported on a meeting organized by Kushner at the White House to “discuss the fund-raising strategy for 2020” featuring Parscale, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and “a group of big donors.”[3] The same report revealed that “allies” of Kushner say he is seeking “control of the fund-raising.”

These reports strongly suggest that Kushner is violating the Hatch Act’s prohibitions against any Executive agency employees “knowingly solicit[ing], accept[ing], or receiv[ing] a political contribution from any person.”[4] As your office noted yesterday in its statement recommending the removal of Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway from federal service, “Although the President and Vice President are exempt from the Hatch Act, employees of the White House are not.”[5]

We also believe Mr. Kushner’s poor track record of compliance with the spirit of the Hatch Act, for instance his use of his official title in campaign literature[6] and his discussion of campaign matters during official activities including the White House staff meeting, [7] merit enhanced scrutiny. The larger context of Trump Administration officials failing to comply, being previously reprimanded by OSC,[8][9] and, in some cases, openly flouting Hatch Act requirements[10] also argues against giving senior Administration officials benefit of the doubt when considering potential violations.

The stated purpose of the Hatch Act is to prevent federal civil servants from using their official authority to help elect candidates to office, and we have strong reason to believe that Jared Kushner is in violation of both the spirit and the letter of that Act. We ask that you investigate these matters at your earliest opportunity, and thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

______________________________                                    ______________________________

Donald S. Beyer Jr.                                                                 Ted W. Lieu