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Newsline: US Ambassador to United Nations Accused of Hatch Act Violation

For at least the second time this year, a Trump administration official has hit trouble via Twitter—and in this case it’s not the president himself. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is the subject of a complaint filed with the Office of Special Counsel by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington claiming a violation of the Hatch Act. Haley, whose Twitter account has 369,000 followers and is labeled with her job title, last week retweeted a President Trump comment on the June 20 House election to fill the seat of Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. “Ralph Norman, who is running for Congress in SC’s 5th District, will be a fantastic help to me in cutting taxes,” Trump wrote to his 33 million followers on June 19. He added a second tweet in the string to say a Norman victory would also help with “getting greater border security and healthcare.” Haley retweeted Trump’s part 1, as at least two journalists noted, on an account that frequently shares official U.N. photos and documents. “By posting this tweet on an account that referred to her official position, Ambassador Haley likely engaged in political activity prohibited by law,” CREW wrote in a June 27 letter to Adam Miles, acting special counsel at OSC. The Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees from using “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” The CREW letter noted that Haley’s account contains no disclaimer distinguishing a personal account from an official one. Haley has apparently removed the tweet in question from her account. The State Department did not respond to requests for comment.

http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2017/06/un-ambassador-haley-accused-hatch-act-violation/139136/

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