Apr 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Top Trump official barred from federal employment for 4 years for Hatch Act violation

A video of Trump speaking plays to a crowd
Former President Trump speaks at the Republican National Convention in Aug. 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A former Trump appointee who served as a regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development was fined $1,000 and barred from federal employment for four years for violating the Hatch Act.

Why it matters: Lynne Patton, who recruited people living in the New York City Housing Authority to participate in a video later shown at the Republican National Convention, is the latest in a long list of Trump officials to violate the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

  • The Office of Special Counsel recommended in 2019 that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway be fired for repeated violations of the ethics law, but President Trump never took disciplinary action.
  • Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was also found to have violated the Hatch Act in 2020.

Between the lines: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows downplayed concerns that RNC events staged at the White House in 2020 potentially violated the Hatch Act, arguing that "nobody outside of the Beltway really cares."

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