The Treasury Department's Trump Retweet May Have Broken the Law

Photo: Alastair Grant (AP)

President Donald Trump would like you to believe that Tuesday night’s primary elections—in which Democrats flexed their muscles ahead of what many are predicting will be a “blue wave” in November—was actually terrific for his administration and the Republicans.


This, in and of itself, is nothing new. Trump lies, is detached from reality, he keeps trying to make “red wave” happen, etc. What is new, however, is that the U.S. Department of Treasury may have broken the law when they echoed the president’s claims on Twitter.

The since-deleted retweet may have violated the Hatch Act—the federal law which “limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs.”

This is hardly the first time the Trump administration has run afoul of the Hatch Act. White House Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway violated it when she urged voters to support accused sexual predator Roy Moore in Alabama’s 2017 special senate election. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley violated it when she retweeted Trump’s endorsement of South Carolina Republican congressional candidate Ralph Norman. And White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino violated it when he urged voters to defeat sitting Republican congressman Justin Amash in a primary election. So, Hatch Act violations are sort of par for the course with this administration.


Also par for the course with this administration, apparently, is the Treasury Department inappropriately carrying water for the president. As BuzzFeed reported on Tuesday, some on the Senate Intelligence Committee have alleged that the DoT has stymied their efforts to track money related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

For its part, the Treasury Department quickly took down their potentially criminal retweet, and a spokesperson told The Hill that it was “done in error.”

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Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.