With Sanctuary Cities, leakers of national security, and obstructionist Democrats, it’s safe to say this: Donald Trump’s presidency is dealing with an unprecedented number of lawbreakers. But this might be the first time it’s one of his own running afoul of the law.
And Ben Carson? We’re talking about the world’s most brilliant brain surgeon. If anyone understands the law, or understands anything, it’s Ben Carson.
So why is Carson, of all people, running afoul of the law? Well, Carson endorsed Trump for president, again.
And apparently, he’s not supposed to do that. And it’s not a partisan thing, either – no one who works for the president is supposed to do that.
The Daily Caller reports:
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson appears to have run afoul of federal law at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Phoenix, Ariz. Tuesday night.
One might be forgiven for not noticing the violation. It happened quickly, and seems benign at first glance.
“The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson,” an unseen announcer declared as Carson took the stage.
And with that terse, uninspired introduction, a federal law was probably broken.
The law violated is something called the Hatch Act. It’s old – all the way back to 1939 – and it exists for one simple reason: so that federal employees don’t undermine the president by campaigning for him, or for others.
Here is complaint I've filed with Office of Special Counsel re: Ben Carson's Hatch Act violation (cc: @waltshaub) https://t.co/1G9M9BYEVf pic.twitter.com/KaNr292oLf
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) August 23, 2017
In short, if you’re working for the government, you don’t have official opinions. You do your job, and follow orders. Simple, effective, and clean.
Obviously, though, no one really takes the spirit of that law seriously. Because politicians, federal employees, and even Secret Service members violate this all the time.
But official censure doesn’t happen unless you, as a federal employee, appear at a clearly partisan function and endorse a candidate…again, doing so as a federal employee.
Carson, unfortunately, did just that.
Carson…appeared at a rally organized by Trump’s reelection committee as an emcee bellowed his official title to the crowd.
In addition to his introduction, Carson used the subject pronoun “we” and the object pronoun “us” at several junctures during his remarks, as though to explicitly identify himself with the Trump campaign.
Ben Carson says he did not violate Hatch Act at Trump's Phoenix rally b/c "he did not hear" announcer use his title. https://t.co/hqhzn9n5Ri
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 23, 2017
Mind you, Carson would have been in the clear if he appeared as ‘retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.’ But because he appeared as HUD Secretary Carson, he’ll likely be in violation.
I wouldn’t worry, though. This happens all the time. Obama never even prosecuted his own guys’ violations.
It’s a good bet that Trump will just let this one slide.
Source: Daily Caller