Ivanka Trump’s 2020 tweet violated Hatch Act, watchdog says

Miranda Bryant
Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

Ivanka Trump was accused on Thursday of violating the Hatch Act that bans government workers from speaking out on political campaign issues, over tweets she wrote ahead of her father’s 2020 presidential campaign launch.

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Influential Washington-based watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) has filed a complaint against Donald Trump’s daughter and senior aide, who works in the White House as his adviser, albeit unsalaried.

She is accused of violating the rule that limits political activity by federal employees.

In a letter to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), part of the Department of Justice, Crew said her tweet, posted on Father’s Day last weekend, just a few days before Trump’s re-election campaign launch in Florida, included his 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” and claimed “the best is yet to come”.

The organisation also claimed that she had used her government Twitter account, which has more than 6.5m followers and she describes herself as “adviser to Potus” (president of the United States) to share “multiple partisan political posts” since March last year.

“It has become clear that this rampant abuse of public office is not a problem of ‘one bad apple’ but rather a key feature of the Trump White House,” Crew’s executive director, Noah Bookbinder, said.

“By blatantly using her office for politics right after the Office of Special Counsel recommended her colleague be fired for repeatedly acting similarly, Ivanka Trump has basically thumbed her nose at the OSC and the rule of law. Never before have we witnessed this level of illegal politicized behaviour, and it must not be allowed to continue.”

The reference to “colleague” is White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

The complaint comes just a week after the OSC, a US federal watchdog, called on the president to sack Conway over multiple violations of the Hatch Act.

The OSC called out Conway in a report addressed to Trump as a “repeat offender” of the Act and claimed she had “shown disregard for the law”.