Donald Trump has probably never heard of the Hatch Act, even though he uses his favorite weapon (Twitter) to do hatchet jobs on whomever has aroused his bile.
The Hatch Act of 1939, officially An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, is a federal law which prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level executive branch officials, from engaging in most forms of political activity.
Trump also has a demonstrated penchant for hiring political amateurs. His favorite caddie, Dan Scavino, caddied for him at a golf party at what is now Trump National Golf Club Westchester. And now, Scavino is his White House Director of Social Media. During Trump’s rapacious, bombastic, erratic 2016 presidential campaign, it was Scavino who managed Trump’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram social media platforms. And over the July 4, 2016 weekend, it was Scavino who arranged for Trump’s Twitter account to post an image of Hillary Clinton with a text in the shape of a Star of David calling her the “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever.” That image had originally appeared on an anti-Semitic, white supremacist message board.
Yesterday, Politico’s Darren Samuelson and Rebecca Morin reported that Scavino tweeted that Michigan’s Freedom Caucus Congressman, Justin Amash, is a “big liability” and encouraged a GOP primary opponent to step forward to kick Amash out of Congress, obviously part of Trump’s effort to purge the GOP of the Freedom Caucus, which derailed his highly disorganized and completely ineffective effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Scavino’s action is a likely violation of the Hatch Act.
Associate solitary reporter Maggie Smith accompanied Amash as he took to social media to attack Trump and Scavino (Amash, who represents Grand Rapids, vocally opposed Trump during the presidential campaign). Smith was with Amash as he announced that he is running against Trump in 2020.
The Koch Brothers, the main financial backers of the Tea Party (which is closely associated with the Freedom Caucus) are delighted. For his part, Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) is making plans to challenge Amash in the 2020 presidential primary.
Look forward to more evidence of the total disfunctionality of the Republican Party in the days and weeks ahead.