Earlier this month, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced that White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway had violated the Hatch Act, and recommended that Conway be fired. Hours later, Donald Trump announced that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was resigning as of the end of the month. Now Sanders is violating that same law as we speak.
Donald Trump held his official 2020 campaign kickoff rally this evening on Orlando, Florida. Even as the bad news keeps piling up for Trump this past week, from horrible new poll numbers to the horrifying scandal surrounding Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, Trump has continually tweeted about how much he’s looked forward to this ego-stroking rally. So guess who showed up tonight? That’s right, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
During the rally, Sarah Sanders took the stage and helped promote Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign message. While Sanders has violated the Hatch Act to varying degrees in the past, what she did this evening was an explicit violation of the Hatch Act. If she wants to go hit the campaign trail for Trump after she’s finished working that the White House, that’s her prerogative. But because she’s still on the job at the White House through the end of the month, she just broke the law.
To be clear, breaking the Hatch Act isn’t something you go to prison for. The worst the government can do to you is to fine you or fire you. Since Sarah Huckabee Sanders is quitting in two weeks anyway, there’s nothing that can be done to her. But it couldn’t be more fitting that, after Sanders spent all this time lying from the podium in order to protect Donald Trump from his crimes, she’s ending her tenure by committing a crime of her own.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report