The chairpersons of the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Appropriations have confirmed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is under federal investigation by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for potentially violating the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act prohibits government officials from participating in broad swathes of political campaigning while on the job, but Pompeo recorded a speech for the recent Republican National Convention while on an official diplomatic visit to Israel. The Office of Special Counsel, which is looking into the matter, is an independent investigative agency in the federal government.
Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) — who chair the Foreign Affairs and Appropriations committees, respectively — cited other examples of Pompeo’s usage of government resources for political purposes in their revelation of the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation. They noted that the confirmation of the OSC’s investigation of Pompeo’s convention speech “comes on the heels of reporting that OSC is also looking into Secretary Pompeo’s stated commitment to rush out more of Hillary Clinton’s emails by Election Day and as the Secretary has misused State Department resources on his speech tour of swing states.”
‘As we get closer to both this year’s election and his own inevitable return to electoral politics, Mike Pompeo has grown even more brazen in misusing the State Department and the taxpayer dollars that fund it as vehicles for the Administration’s, and his own, political ambitions. The Department has repeatedly missed Congressional overseers’ deadlines for producing documents on his recent domestic speeches that will help us understand whether they were improper political activities. So we’re grateful to OSC—whom Mr. Pompeo can’t fire as he did the Inspector General—for looking into this matter.’
Check out their statement below:
JUST IN: Two House chairs say they've confirmed POMPEO is being investigated for violating the Hatch Act in connection to his RNC address from Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/k3U0R68mzb
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 26, 2020
The two memorably added that whether “before Secretary Pompeo’s departure or afterwards, the truth about this administration’s corruption will come out.” Pompeo is, for starters, hardly the only official who has come under investigative scrutiny for apparent Hatch Act violations. Other current and former officials, like ex-Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, have also at times flouted the law. During this year’s Republican National Convention itself, the GOP held an entire campaign event on the White House grounds, where Trump delivered his speech formally accepting the party’s re-nomination for the presidency.