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Following Pascrell Complaint, Special Counsel Confirms Hatch Act Investigation of Trump Campaign

Action involves illegal use of White House, OEOB as an Election Day campaign command center

After U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) filed a letter of complaint on Election Night, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has informed Pascrell that it is pursuing a federal probe into the Trump campaign’s using the White House and Old Executive Office Building as a campaign command center and election day war room for running afoul of the Hatch Act.

“I write urgently demanding an explanation of whether Donald Trump and members of the executive branch are breaking the law on Election Day. Reports suggest that Donald Trump is using space inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as a campaign “war room.” Additionally, Mr. Trump is expected to be briefed in the White House residence and the Oval Office throughout the day by campaign officials. These actions put executive branch officials at risk of blatant violations of the law, including the Hatch Act,” Pascrell wrote to U.S. Special Counsel Henry Kerner on November 3.

In reply to his letter, the Office of the Special Counsel informed Rep. Pascrell on November 5 that it “was not consulted [by the Trump campaign or White House] on the decision to use space inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as a campaign ‘war room.’” The Special Counsel’s office told Rep. Pascrell that “[o]ur Hatch Act Unit has opened an investigation into these allegations to determine if the Hatch Act was violated.”

In response to the Special Counsel’s response, Rep. Pascrell said, “I applaud the Office of Special Counsel for opening an investigation to determine if Donald Trump and members of the executive branch flagrantly broke the law. Despite preposterous claims from Trump’s lackeys, the proper officials were not consulted to prevent any illegal actions. I look forward to a complete and transparent review whether Donald Trump turning federal property into a campaign command center and party room violated the Hatch Act. There must be accountability for the repeated lawbreaking by this regime and its enablers.”

A copy of Rep. Pascrell’s letter to the Special Counsel is available here.

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