The socialist Justice Department employee who harassed the Homeland Security secretary at a Washington restaurant won’t be disciplined for her political tweets, a government watchdog has concluded.
Allison Hrabar’s Twitter posts complaining about deportation and detention policy aren’t political activity, the Office of Special Counsel ruled, and so they don’t break the federal Hatch Act.
OSC Hatch Act Unit chief Ana Galindo-Marrone said someone must go beyond policy, by actually backing the election or defeat of a candidate to be in violation of the rules.
“The tweets we reviewed from June 19 and 20, which Ms. Hrabar posted while at work, only stated her views on immigration policy. Therefore, we have concluded that Ms. Hrabar did not violate the Hatch Act, and we are closing this matter without further action,” Ms. Galindo-Marrone said in a letter to Ty Clevenger, a lawyer who had asked for a probe.
Ms. Hrabar was part of the group of members of the Democratic Socialists of America who rushed to protest inside a Mexican restaurant in June after learning that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was eating there.
Later Ms. Hrabar, while at work at the Justice Department, tweeted thoughts on the situation, saying that “keeping families together in jail is not an acceptable solution” and suggesting Ms. Nielsen was “terrorizing immigrants.”
Mr. Clevenger said those tweets sounded like political activity, and he asked for the investigation.
After receiving the OSC’s dismissal, he said the administration needs to change its rules so that sort of activity is prohibited.
“These are administrative rules, so it would not take an act of Congress to change them,” he said.
Ms. Hrabar didn’t reply to an email seeking comment. Since her protest, she has taken her Twitter account @allisongeroi private.