Do members of the Brandon administration think they are above the law?
The US Office of Special Counsel found Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra violated the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act prohibits people in executive agencies from using their official authority to influence an election.
In September of 2022, Secretary Becerra expressed his support for Senator Alex Padilla’s reelection – this came while he was speaking in his official capacity.
The special counsel wrote, “In delivering his speech, Secretary Becerra impermissibly mixed his personal electoral preference with official remarks.”
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found that Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra violated federal law.
Special Counsel Henry Kerner sent a letter to President Brandon in which he said that Becerra violated the Hatch Act by publicly expressing support for California Democrat Sen. Alex Padilla’s reelection while appearing in an official capacity as HHS secretary.
“As explained in the accompanying report, OSC concluded that Secretary Becerra violated the Hatch Act by expressing support for Senator Alex Padilla’s reelection while speaking in his official capacity at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Annual Awards Gala on September 15, 2022,” Kerner wrote.
“The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence to affect the outcome of an election,” Kerner continued. “In delivering his speech, Secretary Becerra impermissibly mixed his personal electoral preference with official remarks.”
The Special Counsel also noted that Secretary Becerra should have known this was prohibited.
After making the comments, a member of his staff warned that he could not say that.
Becerra “should have known” that what he did was prohibited because he has undergone “comprehensive training” on the Hatch Act, including viewing a presentation from White House lawyers just three months before the gala, the Office of Special Counsel stated.
The materials in the training included the statement that “political remarks must be distinct from official remarks.”
Attendees were warned that they “may not encourage support for a candidate for a candidate or remind attendees to vote for a particular candidate or group in an election” or “discuss candidates, elections, or partisan groups.”
“His statement was so obviously concerning that a member of his own staff, present at the Gala, gasped and said, ‘No, no, you can’t say that’ immediately after hearing it,” it stated.
Now, will there be any accountability?