Jared Kushner is the last person who should have his hands on the levers of federal power. He’s utterly unqualified to serve as a senior advisor to the president and holds his current position through nothing more than blatant nepotism. He’s particularly dangerous because he has a knack for maintaining a low profile, largely shunning interviews and public appearances so that he can pursue his plutocratic agenda and that of his vile father-in-law in private. He is a man better suited to living behind bars than slinking through the corridors of the White House.
Thankfully, Democrats aren’t willing to simply accept the flagrant corruption and incompetence display by men like Kushner and are taking immediate steps to hold them accountable.
The Hill reports that Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) have requested that federal watchdog Office of the Special Counsel (no relation to Robert Mueller) investigate whether or not Kushner has violated the Hatch Act, a statute that prevents most federal employees from taking part in specific political activities, particularly campaigning. The law prevents incumbent administrations from abusing their power and tax dollars to unfairly secure reelection.
Lieu and Beyer point to a recent story in The New York Times which details how Kushner organized a big meeting of Trump campaign staff and donors to strategize about 2020 fundraising. On top of that, Kushner apparently regularly meets with Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale. One struggles to think of how he could possibly violate the Hatch Act more than he clearly already is.
“The stated purpose of the Hatch Act is to prevent federal civil servants from using their official authority to help elect candidates to office, and we have strong reason to believe that Jared Kushner is in violation of both the spirit and the letter of that Act,” the two Democrats wrote in their letter to the OSC.
Just last week, the OSC sent a letter to the White House recommending that Kellyanne Conway be immediately fired over her multiple Hatch Act violations. Rather than upholding the law, the Trump administration defended Conway in shameful fashion and made it clear they have no intention of taking actiom over her illegal actions.
Lieu and Breyer used Conway’s behavior to help justify their Kushner request:
“The larger context of Trump Administration officials failing to comply, being previously reprimanded by OSC, and, in some cases, openly flouting Hatch Act requirements also argues against giving senior Administration officials benefit of the doubt when considering potential violations,” wrote the Congressmen.
Hopefully, the OSC responds promptly to the request. Even if the Trump administration refuses to enforce the law on its factotums, it’s crucial that the American people get a full accounting of their crimes and a full portrait of how unfit these people are to run our government.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.