Federal watchdog probing WH use by Trump campaign

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has opened an investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign's use of the White House as an Election Day command center violated federal law, according to a New Jersey lawmaker who filed a complaint.

U.S. Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell said in a statement on Thursday that the federal watchdog told him that a special unit has opened an investigation to determine if the Hatch Act was violated.

President Donald Trump monitored election returns in the living room of the White House residence on Tuesday and later addressed some 200 supporters gathered in the East Room.

In his complaint filed on Election Day, Pascrell said Trump was expected to be briefed in the White House residence and the Oval Office throughout the day by campaign officials, which he said put executive branch officials at risk of violating the Hatch Act, which limits the political activities of federal employees, except the president and vice president.

The New Jersey lawmaker also asked the special counsel to investigate reports suggesting that Trump used space in the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building – which is on the grounds of the White House - as a campaign "war room."

The White House denied any violation of the federal law, saying they were in compliance with the law.

The agency launched an investigation last month of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech to the Republican National Convention in August and last year recommended the firing of then-senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway for repeated violations.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC - "HAIL TO THE CHEIF"]

- The US Office of Special Counsel has opened an investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign's use of the White House as an Election Day command center violated federal law, according to a New Jersey lawmaker who filed a complaint.

[CHEERING, APPLAUSE]

US Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell said in a statement on Thursday that the federal watchdog told him that a special unit has opened an investigation to determine if the Hatch Act was violated.

President Donald Trump monitored election returns in the living room of the White House residence on Tuesday and later addressed some 200 supporters gathered in the East Room.

In his complaint filed on Election Day, Pascrell said Trump was expected to be briefed in the White House residence and the Oval Office throughout the day by campaign officials, which he said put executive branch officials at risk of violating the Hatch Act, which limits the political activities of federal employees, except the president and vice president.

The New Jersey lawmaker also asked the special counsel to investigate reports suggesting that Trump used space in the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building-- which is on the grounds of the White House-- as a campaign "war room."

The White House denied any violation of the federal law, saying they were in compliance with the law.

The agency launched an investigation last month of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech to the Republican National Convention in August and last year recommended the firing of then-senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway for repeated violations.