Photo: Jonathan Ernst/AP
WASHINGTON D.C. — Dan Scavino Jr., the Director of Social Media at the White House, has been reprimanded by the Office of Special Counsel for a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits most federal employees from engaging in political activity. Scavino Jr. violated the act with a tweet sent from his personal account where he called for the defeat of GOP Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan in a primary. The tweet was later deleted.
In a letter sent from Ana Galindo-Marrone, Chief of the OSC’s Hatch Act Unit to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics In Washington (CREW), who filed the complaint, confirmed the violation, saying “Mr. Scavino has been advised that if in the future he engages in prohibited political activity while employed in a position covered by the Hatch Act, we will consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law, which could result in further action.”
The law was passed in 1939 and prohibits certain government employees from engaging in political activities. It has mostly been used to prevent officials from using their position to influence elections and voter thinking. Violations can result in removal from their position and a possible five-year ban on federal employment.
While neither the White House or Scavino Jr. have commented on the decision, in April, a White House official said that the tweet did not violate the Hatch Act, saying “…It clearly comes from his personal account and not his official White House Account.”
While it did come from his personal account, his bio at the time listed his White House Position, and his profile picture was one of him in the oval office. He has since changed his profile, replacing the photo with one of him golfing and changing his bio to read “Personal Twitter Handle! I will be back.”
Scavino Jr. also ran the social media campaigns for Trump’s campaign for the Presidency.