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An April tweet landed the White House director of social media in hot water.
Dan Scavino Jr., the White House’s social media director, violated the Hatch Act—a federal law that prohibits public employees from engaging in political activity.
The Office of Special Counsel issued a letter to Scavino warning him of his violation in response to an April 1 tweet where he called on the “#TrumpTrain” to help defeat Rep. Justin Mash of Michigan, a Republican member of Congress who had been critical of President Donald Trump.
The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, was an attempt to eliminate political coercion in the federal government by preventing employees from engaging in certain “political activities.”
The letter, dated June 5, says specifically that Scavino violated the Hatch Act and advised him that the letter served as a warning.
“Mr. Scavino has been advised that if in the future he engages in prohibited political activity while employed in a position covered by the Hatch Act, we will consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law, which could result in further action,” the letter reads.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 9, 2017
Scavino’s full tweet on April said: “@realDonaldTrump is bringing auto plants & jobs back to Michigan. @justinamash is a big liability. #TrumpTrain, defeat him in primary.”
Federal employee who willfully violate the Hatch Act can be barred from being employed by the government for up to five years, according to the Washington Post.
Scavino was criticized online in May after he tweeted a screenshot from Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin’s concession call to then-Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on election night.
Scavino said he had the call on video and would share it “in the near future.” It has not been posted.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).