By Lauren Gibbons, M Live, April 5, 2017
A Washington, D.C.-based ethics group has filed complaints against U.S. Rep. Justin Amash and Donald Trump aide Dan Scavino for a Twitter dispute last week.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog organization also known as CREW, filed complaints to the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Tuesday, claiming both Amash, R-Cascade Twp., and Scavino violated ethics laws when trading jabs over Twitter.
The complaints allege Scavino violated the Hatch Act on April 1 when he tweeted Amash is “a big liability” and encouraged Trump supporters to defeat him in the primary.
Enacted in 1939, the Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees from engaging in certain forms of political activity.
The president touched off the Twitter back-and-forth a couple days ago.
The organization also filed a complaint against Amash, alleging the Congressman’s response violated House rules by using an official campaign account for fundraising purposes.
“While much attention has been paid to the intra-party squabbling between Scavino and Amash, the bigger issue may be the lack of respect for rules governing political activity,” CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. “The separation of official and campaign business is a necessary factor in keeping politics out of official government activity, and needs to be respected at every level.”
Amash’s office said House rules govern the use of congressional resources, but noted @justinamash is Rep. Amash’s personal account and does not use any office or taxpayer resources.
An Amash staffer said staff do not have access to Amash’s personal account and that the official office Twitter account is @amashoffice.
Amash’s tweet came shortly after the president unleashed a tweet Thursday morning.
The complaint against Amash stems specifically from his response to Scavino, which included a link to his campaign donations page with the message, “Bring it on.”
Amash also criticized the Trump administration for becoming the “#Trumpstablishment” by attacking “conservatives, libertarians and independent thinkers.”