Ethics Watchdog Files Another Hatch Act Complaint Against Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 04: U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm speaks to the media during Energy Day of COP26 at SECC on November 3, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Today COP26 will focus on accelerating the global transition to clean energy. The 2021 climate summit in Glasgow is the 26th …
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An ethics watchdog group filed its second complaint against Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to further investigate an alleged violation of the Hatch Act when Granholm used the “official social media account to advocate that citizens vote a certain way.”

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) complaint asked the OSC to further investigate Granholm after finding more alleged Hatch Act violations against her. Granholm used her official “@SecGranholm” Twitter account — which is taxpayer-funded — to push Mainers to vote “No” on a particular proposal that was being voted on this past Tuesday.

While Americans are struggling with rising gas prices, Granholm appears to be more concerned with Maine’s ballot initiative. Even more, Friday morning Biden’s energy secretary laughed and said it was “hilarious” when asked about Biden’s plans to bring gas prices down and increase the oil production in the United States.

The Hatch Act prohibits any executive branch employees, including secretaries, from being in their official capacity to influence an election, including using their title while partaking in political activity. The complaint also outlines that the Hatch Act was created to “maintain the public trust that federal government departments will be administered in a nonpartisan manner” in addition to protecting taxpayer funds from being used for political purposes.

“The Office of Special Counsel should immediately investigate and take any appropriate disciplinary action against Secretary Granholm,” the complaint said, since a few days before the election, on October 28, the secretary used her official Twitter account to send out a series of tweets that the complaint says violated the Hatch Act:

The complaint further explains the political involvement behind the secretary’s tweets:

“Question 1” is the most expensive ballot initiative in Maine history — the Political Action Committees (PACs) supporting and opposing it have raised more than $71 million. Executive 5 agencies have included ballot initiatives when defining political activity allowed while not on duty. Moreover, in this case the advocacy was done with official government resources and on 6 an official government account that implies endorsement.

“By using an official government channel of communication, Secretary Granholm both indicated the federal government endorsed and encouraged citizens to vote a certain way on a ballot question, and used a taxpayer-funded resource to do so,” the complaint clarified.

“Just weeks after we filed a complaint against Secretary Granholm for violating the Hatch Act for making political remarks while being interviewed in her official capacity, she has apparently violated the law again,” FACT’s Executive Director Kendra Arnold told Breitbart News. “This time Secretary Granholm used her official government Twitter account to tell Mainers how to vote on a ballot initiative.”

Arnold noted that while Granholm used her taxpayer-funded Twitter account, it also gave the illusion that “the federal government has endorsed the initiative.”

“These abuses must end so public trust can be restored in our government officials,” Arnold added.

Breitbart News reported on FACT’s first complaint with the OSC that indicated “Granholm allegedly violated the Hatch Act by making political remarks when she was interviewed by Emily Tisch Sussman for a Marie Claire Instagram Live video while acting in her official capacity.”

During the interview, the secretary participated in “The complaint noted that while Granholm was introduced as the ‘Energy Secretary,'” and the discussion she participated in “quickly became political,” talking about the “importance of electing progressive Democrats to help pass President Biden’s spending plan.”

“First of all, not to be partisan, but I am part of a Democratic administration, and fortunately we have just bare, but we do have majorities in the House and Senate,” Granholm reportedly said during her interview. “We’ve got to get this stuff through.”

A full copy of FACT’s second complaint filed against Granholm can be found here.

In the past, FACT has also gone after failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as more recently, Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Susan Lee (D-NV), and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA).

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.


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