Mike Pompeo’s campaign for Trump was illegal: investigation

A federal investigation said Mike Pompeo violated the Hatch Act when, as secretary of state, he addressed the Republican National Convention in 2020 from Jerusalem.

In its lengthy report released Tuesday, the Office of Special Counsel also blamed several of former President Trump’s top Jewish officials for violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from campaigning. Officials involved include David Friedman, former ambassador to Israel; Jared Kushner, Trump’s top political adviser and son-in-law in the Middle East; and Stephen Miller, Trump’s top immigration adviser.

In all, the report identified 13 officials who violated the Hatch Act during Trump’s failed reelection campaign last year.

Pompeo’s appearance in Jerusalem took up a substantial part of the report, in part because it initiated a change in State Department policy prohibiting employees from campaigning just days before his Aug. 25 speech from atop the King Hotel. David, a policy that he had reaffirmed only a few months. before its appearance.

Additionally, most of Pompeo’s four-minute speech was devoted to praising Trump, according to the report, and Pompeo was also granted an exemption from a State Department policy prohibiting employees and spouses from engaging in political activity at the Foreign.

US President Donald Trump speaks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, while Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue observe during a meeting at the Office White House Oval in Washington, USA, January 31, 2019 (Credit: REUTERS / JIM YOUNG)

“The bottom line was that while all other US citizen State Department employees stationed overseas and their spouses and family members were not allowed to take many actions related to the 2020 elections, Secretary Pompeo was allowed to register a address at the RNC, while traveling abroad. to Israel, with the purpose of supporting the reelection of President Trump, ”the report says.

He emphasized that Pompeo appeared to have been pressured by Trump to deliver the speech, but that did not exonerate him. There were formal requests to investigate Pompeo, including from Congress, almost as soon as the speech aired.

The report named Miller, Friedman and Kushner for making media appearances in their official capacities in which they effectively campaigned for Trump’s re-election.

Friedman spoke on Al Ain, a news channel based in the United Arab Emirates, on October 4, 2020, a month before the elections. “Joe Biden was part of the Obama administration that negotiated and implemented the Iran deal … [which] created a path for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon [and] It did nothing to stop Iran from its evil activity, “Friedman quotes in the report.

The Office of Special Counsel is the designated agency to investigate violations of the Hatch Act, but does not have the authority to enforce them when violations are committed by Senate-approved officials and certain senior White House personnel. The report and its length seemed intended to highlight the obstructions to the application of the Hatch Act; for senior officials, only the president can initiate execution. That becomes a problem when the president (who is exempt from the law) appears to be encouraging his officials to break the law, as the office alleges that Trump was doing with Pompeo and the other appointed officials.

“The 2020 election cycle posed new and unforeseen challenges for the OSC’s Hatch Act enforcement efforts,” he said. “OSC concludes that the Trump administration tacitly or expressly approved that senior officials violate the Hatch Act by campaigning for the re-election of President Trump. This conclusion is based on the administration’s refusal to hold officials accountable for their violations, the frequency and similarity of violations, and the fact that some administration officials repeatedly ignored the advice provided by the OSC. “


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