Peter Navarro violated the Hatch Act. Again.
Based on his latest television interview on Fox Business, it appears that Assistant to the President and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro is yet again violating the Hatch Act by working on reports regarding swing state economies for the election and by publicly discussing the president’s reelection strategy and attacking Democratic nominee Joe Biden, according to a letter sent to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
During his interview, in which host Maria Bartiromo introduced Navarro with his official title, Navarro admitted to working on an Election Day effort related to swing state economies and, in addition to discussing administration policy, repeatedly attacked Joe Biden’s candidacy, promoted President Trump, and directly compared the two candidates. While standing on White House grounds, Navarro openly discussed his political work regarding swing states like Michigan and offered political arguments comparing the candidates’ policy ideas and their potential economic impacts on the state.
“Peter Navarro once again intentionally ignoring the Hatch Act and using his official position to promote President Trump’s reelection and his campaign platform is inexcusable. It is evident that this administration will use any federal resources at its disposal to keep the president in power,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “Navarro’s repeated disregard for the law warrants his removal from federal service. Anything less than that reaffirms this administration’s complicity in allowing senior officials to act as if they are above the law.”
The Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees from “us[ing their] official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” “Political activity” is defined as “an activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.”
Just two weeks ago, CREW called on OSC to recommend the president fire Navarro for his repeated violations of the law. CREW filed a complaint against Navarro for violating the Hatch Act after an appearance on MSNBC and comments made on social media in which he made politically-charged statements in support of President Trump’s reelection campaign and against Joe Biden.
“At this point, Navarro is displaying open contempt for the law meant to protect the American people from the use of taxpayer resources and government power for partisan politics,” said Bookbinder. “OSC must take immediate action, including a recommendation to President Trump that Navarro should be removed from federal service.”