CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
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Washington — White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Jared Kushner violated the Hatch Act during a CNN interview on Sunday, according to a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). Throughout the interview, Kushner advocated on behalf of the Trump campaign while appearing in his official government capacity on behalf of the Trump administration.
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.” Throughout the interview, Fareed Zakaria and Kushner openly discussed Kushner’s strategy to re-elect President Trump, while Kushner was identified in his government capacity.
“Jared Kushner, like so many other senior officials in the Trump administration, has shown a complete disregard for ethics laws with a pattern of continuous violations,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “The tone is set at the top. President Trump has made clear that he will not follow the rules himself or discipline those in his administration who do not, and his top advisors are acting accordingly.”
“Kushner’s blatantly political behavior while acting in his official capacity is a clear violation of the Hatch Act. The rules are in place to prevent the powers of the federal government from being used to unfairly benefit any candidate, and it is about time this administration started to follow them ,” said Bookbinder.
Since President Trump’s inauguration, CREW complaints have led to reprimands of an unprecedented number of Trump administration officials, including Dan Scavino, Nikki Haley, Stephanie Grisham, Raj Shah, Jessica Ditto, Madeleine Westerhout, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Alyssa Farah, Jacob Wood, Kellyanne Conway and Lynne Patton. Following CREW’s complaints against Kellyanne Conway, OSC took the unprecedented step of recommending Conway be removed from federal service in a scathing report detailing her numerous ethics violations.