Stephen Miller’s attack on Joe Biden, during Miller’s appearance in his official capacity on Fox & Friends, was a violation of the Hatch Act alleges the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Law & Crime explains the Hatch Act:
The Hatch Act generally prohibits electioneering activities by executive branch employees. Spread across several different statutes, the law essentially states that such employees are barred from using their “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” The law defines “political activity” as anything “directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.”
As CREW’s executive director, Noah Bookbinder, wrote in his request for an investigation by the Office of Special Counsel, Miller appeared in his official capacity as adviser to Donald Trump on Fox & Friends yesterday, yet acted as a campaign operative:
He was introduced by the host, who stated: “We are joined from the White House by Stephen Miller, Senior Policy Advisor.” The Fox News chyron for the interview also identifies Miller as “STEPHEN MILLER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR.”
Specifically, in response to the host’s question about former President Obama’s eulogy of the late Rep. John Lewis, Miller made comments about Biden. Although the host prefaced that Miller was not on the “political side,” Miller answered the question stating:
Well as you know Joe Biden is stuck in a basement somewhere and he just emerges every now and again and somebody hands him a notecard and he says whatever his 23 year old staffer tells him to say and then, he dutifully disappears to be seen a week later. As for former President Obama the reality is that for eight years he delivered nothing but failure and betrayal to the people of this country…
Shortly after Miller’s Fox News interview on White House grounds aired, the Trump campaign posted the video on Twitter with the caption: “Senior Advisor Stephen Miller: Obama and Biden delivered ‘failure and betrayal’ to the people of this country.”8 The clip only features an excerpt of the interview, but begins with Miller’s remarks regarding Biden.
The @TeamTrump twitter account notes that it is the “official Twitter for the Trump Campaign.
In its press release, CREW notes that the Trump administration's disregard for law and ethics has “led to an unprecedented number of Trump administration officials being reprimanded for Hatch Act violations, including Dan Scavino, Nikki Haley, Stephanie Grisham, Raj Shah, Jessica Ditto, Madeleine Westerhout, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Alyssa Farah, Jacob Wood, Kellyanne Conway and Lynne Patton. Following CREW’s complaints against Kellyanne Conway, OSC took the unprecedented step of recommending Conway be removed from federal service in a scathing report detailing her numerous ethics violations.”
According to Law & Crime, “Hatch Act violations are typically punished via administrative censure and civil fines.”
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fellow.
Hatch Act violation or not, this serves as a good illustration of how Fox News, and especially Fox & Friends, works as a Trump propaganda machine.
You can watch the interview in question below, from the July 31, 2020 Fox & Friends.
(H/T Eric. J.)