White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is sometimes assumed to be the power behind Joe Biden at the White House.
However, Klain seems to think that being a troll on Twitter is how to influence people because he lives on the site, pushing all kinds of lies and propaganda tweets. It’s funny that they attacked President Donald Trump for being on Twitter when Klain is constantly on it. So much for the knock on “mean tweets.”
But Klain’s Twitter habit just got him in trouble. According to the Office of the Special Counsel, Klain violated the Hatch Act with one of his tweets. The Hatch Act restricts federal employees from being involved in campaign-related activities during the conduct of their jobs. Ana Galindo-Marrone, chief of the Hatch Act Unit at the OSC, said that Klain had violated the Act in response to the America First Legal group which had filed a complaint against Klain.
Galindo-Marrone wrote that Klain “retweeted a May 22, 2022 message from Strike PAC (@StrikePAC) from his official Twitter account (@WHCOS). The tweet read, ‘Operation Fly Formula delivers 70,000 pounds of infant formula for American mothers and their infants. Thank you @POTUS.’ The tweet also read, ‘Get your Democrats Deliver merch today!’ and included a link to Strike PAC’s online store and an image of the group’s ‘Democrats Deliver’ tshirt.”
Strike PAC “is a partisan political group, and according to its website, it ‘supports campaign finance reform and will help elect Democrats who support these vital policies.’ It also has a ‘nationalized strategy’ aimed at promoting the Democratic Party by ‘tell[ing] stories of how Democrats deliver on their promises to improve the lives of voters,'” the OSC letter notes.
Klain violated two provisions of the Hatch Act, Galindo-Marrone said.
By retweeting this message, Mr. Klain used his official Twitter account to promote a partisan political group’s interests and, therefore, OSC has concluded that he violated the Hatch Act’s use of official authority prohibition,” the letter says.
“In addition, Strike PAC’s tweet constituted a solicitation for political contributions because it encouraged others to buy the group’s merchandise. A political contribution is defined as any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value, made for any political purpose (i.e., to promote or oppose a partisan political group),” Galindo-Marrone continued.
“The sale of Strike PAC’s merchandise supports the group’s objective of electing Democrats, and so the purchase price is a political contribution for purposes of the Hatch Act. Thus, Strike PAC’s tweet solicited political contributions, and because Mr. Klain retweeted this message, he also violated the Hatch Act’s solicitation prohibition.”
If you look at what Klain tweeted, it’s an obvious violation, since you can’t use your “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election and knowingly soliciting, accepting, or receiving political contributions from any person.”
So what was the punishment for Klain for violating the law?
Galindo-Marrone said that because Klain “promptly removed the retweet upon being notified of this complaint,” they ‘decided not to pursue disciplinary action and will close this matter.”
“Mr. Klain has been warned that if in the future he engages in activity prohibited by the Hatch Act while employed in a covered position, OSC would consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law that could result in disciplinary action,” she concluded.
Pointing to a Democratic site isn’t a willful violation? He’s pretty clueless a lot of the time and can’t read the American public, but still, that’s a glaring problem. But they tend to give people a pass for a first violation. Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki got reprimanded last year for violating the Act because she endorsed Democrat Terry McAuliffe for governor in Virginia. McAuliffe got beaten by Glenn Youngkin last November, so that didn’t help.