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KJP broke ethics laws with ‘MAGA Republicans’ remarks, probe reveals.

White House Press Secretary Violates Hatch Act

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre / Getty Images

Another day, another Hatch Act violation by a member of the Biden administration. This time, it’s White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre who has been found to have flagrantly violated the federal ethics law designed to prevent taxpayer dollars from influencing elections.

  • The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) determined that Jean-Pierre’s repeated use of the phrase “MAGA Republicans” during White House press briefings in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections violated the Hatch Act.
  • The conservative watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust filed a complaint against Jean-Pierre, alleging that she illegally attempted to influence voters.
  • The OSC chose not to impose any disciplinary action against Jean-Pierre, citing uncertainty about whether the White House Counsel’s Office knew that using the phrase “MAGA Republicans” would violate the Hatch Act.

It’s worth noting that violating the Hatch Act seems to be a rite of passage for President Biden’s press secretaries. Jean-Pierre’s predecessor, Jen Psaki, also violated the law when she endorsed a Democratic candidate during a White House press briefing. And former White House chief of staff Ron Klain and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra have also been found to have violated the Hatch Act.

Despite these repeated violations, the Biden administration claims to take the law seriously. However, the OSC’s decision not to penalize Jean-Pierre for her violation has raised concerns about the administration’s commitment to ethical governance.

  • Protect the Public’s Trust director Michael Chamberlain criticized the OSC’s decision, saying it shows why Americans “increasingly distrust the Biden Administration’s promises to be the most ethical in history.”
  • It remains to be seen whether the administration will take any action to address these concerns and restore public trust in government ethics.


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