White House admits federal agency election briefings as Hatch Act probe continues Mike Rosen-Molina at 4:09 PM ET
[JURIST] The White House admitted Thursday to holding about 20 briefings throughout 2006 and 2007 for federal agency employees to discuss the electability of Republican candidates, meetings similar to a January presentation that critics allege violated the Hatch Act [OSC materials]. The Hatch Act prohibits the use of government resources for political purposes, and the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) [official website] has recently expanded ongoing investigations [JURIST report] into a broader probe of "illegal political activities across the executive branch." Similar meetings were also held prior to 2006. A White House spokesperson said that no records were kept of how many meetings were held, but she denied that any laws were broken [transcript], insisting "there is no prohibition under the Hatch Act of allowing political appointees to talk to other political appointees about the political landscape in which they are trying to advance the President's agenda. None." She added that the White House counsel's office had approved the meetings.
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