Trump Administration's Hatch Act Problem: Here's the Long List of Officials Accused of Breaking Federal Law

The Hatch Act has made national headlines after the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which enforces it, found that Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway committed repeated violations and recommended that she be removed from federal service.

While Conway is the most egregious offender, there are more than a dozen other Trump administration officials that are accused of violating the federal law prohibiting executive branch employees from using their official positions to influence the result of an election. While the Trump administration is not the first to face accusations of violating the Hatch Act, during the eight years of the Obama administration there were found to be just two violations of the law. In both cases, the official expressed remorse, something not one by Conway and others.

Here are the alleged Hatch Act violations in the Trump administration:

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president

The OSC in a letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month stated that Conway was a "repeat offender" for acts including bashing Democratic candidates, following complaints by the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). But Trump refused to fire her and said it was a threat to her right to free speech. After Conway failed to appear at a hearing Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday voted 25-16 in favor of subpoenaing her.

Ivanka Trump, first daughter and senior White House adviser

Three days after the OSC recommended Conway be removed, Ivanka Trump tweeted a photo with her father's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan and commented: "Four years ago today, I introduced my father @realDonaldTrump when he launched a Campaign that would forever change America. Because of his courage, Americans are safer and more prosperous...and the best is yet to come!"

"She knows it's against the law," CREW spokesman Jordan Libowitz told Newsweek last week. "But she did it anyway, even after the unprecedented Conway decision."

Jared Kushner, president's son-in-law and senior White House adviser

A week after the OSC's Conway recommendation, Representatives Donald Beyer Jr. of Virginia and Ted Lieu of California requested an investigation into whether Kushner violated the Hatch Act by "engaging in prohibited campaign fundraising activities" for his father-in-law's reelection campaign.

Sarah Sanders, outgoing White House press secretary

CREW in August 2018 complained to the OSC that Sanders used her official social media account to tweet "Great again," invoking the president's MAGA campaign slogan. Two months later she was also accused of a violation for tweeting a photo of herself alongside rapper Kanye West while he was wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat. The OSC ultimately determined there was no violation.

Stephanie Grisham, first lady's spokeswoman transitioning to White House press secretary and communications director

In July 2018, CREW flagged Grisham also for tweeting the hashtag MAGA along with a photo from a 2015 Trump campaign rally. The OSC found that she was in violation of the Hatch Act.

TEN Trump officials were found to have violated the Hatch Act following CREW complaints.

— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) June 21, 2019

Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff

Mulvaney allegedly broke the federal law by writing, publishing, and tweeting from his official social media account an op-ed promoting MAGA. He also shared Trump's slogan in another tweet and video, according to an August 2018 CREW complaint. The OSC found that he did not violate the law.

Ryan Zinke, former Interior Department secretary

The OSC in December 2018 concluded that Zinke violated the Hatch Act by tweeting a photo of himself wearing MAGA socks.

Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Haley appeared to violate the Hatch Act by retweeting a post by the president in support of Ralph Norman, who was running in a special congressional election, CREW stated in a complaint in June 2017. The OSC determined that Haley "gave the impression that she was acting in her official capacity" and found her in violation of the act.

Alyssa Farah, vice president's press secretary

Farah was reprimanded by the OSC after CREW in August 2018 filed a complaint over her use of her official social media account to tweet MAGA.

Dan Scavino Jr., White House social media director, assistant to the president

In 2017, the OSC determined that Scavino violated the Hatch Act by calling on Twitter for Republican Representative Justin Amash to be defeated.

Raj Shah, former White House deputy press secretary

Shah used his official social media account to tweet a message sharing research from the Republican National Committee (RNC) on its site, which was directed at the success or failure of GOP and President Trump, CREW alleged in August 2018. The OSC issued a warning to Shah.

Hatch Act Trump Administration Violators
New White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders(C) and senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway(R) listen as President Donald Trump holds a news conference with Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 25, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Conway and Sanders are among more than a dozen Trump administration officials accused of violating the Hatch Act. TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images

Jessica Ditto, White House deputy communications director

CREW filed a complaint against Ditto in August 2018 for using her official social media account to retweet a post with RNC information. Ditto received a warning from the OSC.

Madeleine Westerhout, special assistant to the president, Oval Office operations director

Like Ditto, Westerhout received a warning from the OSC after being accused by of violating the act by tweeting MAGA from her official Twitter account.

Helen Aguirre Ferré, former White House media affairs director

Ferré also used her official social media account to tweet out MAGA, a violation of the act, CREW alleged in August 2018.

Jacob Wood, Office of Management and Budget deputy communications director

After using his official Twitter account to promote MAGA, Wood broke the federal law, Wood received a warning from the OSC.

Hogan Gidley, White House principal deputy press secretary, deputy assistant to the president

In another August 2018 complaint letter to the OSC, CREW accused Gidley of a Hatch Act violation for tweeting a MAGA message from his official account. The OSC took no action.

Lindsay Walters, former White House deputy press secretary

Walters retweeted the term "Great again" invoking MAGA from her official social media account and therefore violated the Hatch Act, CREW claimed in August 2018. However, she escaped sanction from the OSC.