- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2019

First daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump was accused by an ethics watchdog organization Thursday of violating the Hatch Act because of a Father’s Day tweet.

Ms. Trump posted Sunday an image of her father moments before he announced his run for president four years ago, adding the caption: “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! Happy Father’s Day! [Flag emoji]”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which describes itself as nonpartisan, said this tweet “likely” violates the Hatch Act, which prevents federal employees from using their office for political activities.

In a letter to the Office of Special Counsel, CREW argues the photo violates the Hatch Act because it displays the “Make America Great Again” slogan on an account used for official government purposes, which violates OSC guidance.

“[W]hile on duty or in the workplace, employees may not: wear, display, or distribute items with the slogan “Make America Great Again” or any other materials from President Trump’s 2016 or 2020 campaigns; use hashtags such as #MAGA or #ResistTrump in social media posts or other forums; or display non-official pictures of President Trump.”

CREW notes that the tweet was posted two days “before President Trump held a launch event for his re-election campaign” and recommends an investigation be conducted on Ms. Trump’s conduct.

The Hatch Act has become a hot button issue in the last few weeks.

Three days before Ms. Trump’s alleged violation, the OSC recommended White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway be removed from government because she “violated the Hatch Act using her personal Twitter account.”

When asked if he would take the advice, Mr. Trump said he would be ignoring the OSC’s advice, citing it as a First Amendment issue.

“I think she’s a terrific person. She’s been a great spokesperson. She’s loyal. I think you’re entitled to free speech in this country,” Mr. Trump said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

Democratic Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia and Ted Lieu of California recommended the OSC Monday to investigate potential Hatch Act violations by Ms. Trump’s husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, referencing a report that Mr. Kushner organized a White House meeting to discuss the Trump campaign’s fundraising game plan in 2020.

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