After apparently endorsing Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe during a press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was blasted on Friday by a government watchdog group for alleged violating of the Hatch Act, The Hill reports.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal government employees to engage in campaign activity in their official capacity.
The Office of Special Counsel has received the ethics complaint filed against Psaki by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in which they request an investigation into whether Psaki – who stressed she has to be careful to avoid campaigning from behind the podium- violated the act.
The complaint quoted Psaki’s statement during the Thursday’s press briefing saying they believe in the agenda the former Governor McAuliffe represents and that they’ll do everything they can to help him when asked if the White House sees the upcoming Virginia election as a bellwether race.
Though he underscored that Psaki’s conduct is not even close to the level of the Trump administration’s outrageous offenses, CREW president Noah Bookbinder said in a statement that Biden administration should not follow the Trump administration’s steps in that direction and underlined they should not be casual about compliance with an important ethics law.
Appearing later on Friday on CNN, Psaki said she believe she hasn’t made an ethics violation with her statement, stressing at the same time that she takes ethics seriously and that she’ll be more careful with her words in the future.