- Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos is being investigated under the Hatch Act, Politico reported.
- The investigation is into comments she made on a Fox News interview slamming Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
- The Hatch Act bars top-level government officials, excluding the president and vice-president, from partaking in political activity.
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Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is being investigated by the Office of the Special Counsel for potentially violating the Hatch Act when she slammed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during an interview with Fox News, Politico reported.
The Hatch Act is a federal law that bars top-level government employees, excluding the president and vice-president, from partaking in political activity.
Politico reported that OSC Hatch Act attorney Eric Johnson told Scott Peterson, the head of investigative watchdog blog Checks and Balances about the investigation during an interview.
In an interview with Fox News, DeVos criticized Biden for saying he would roll back her school choice policies.
“Today he’s turned his back on the kids that we’re talking about and he’s turned his face in favor of the teachers union and what they have to say and what they have to demand and it’s really shameful,” DeVos said.
Politico reported that the Department of Education also sent out the Fox News clip in an email distribution under the heading “From the Desk of The Secretary.”
The Department of Education did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication but a spokesperson told Politico: “The Secretary was asked to respond to oft-repeated criticism of her and her policies, and she defended her policies, including discussing the history of that criticism. The Hatch Act does not prohibit that kind of exchange with a journalist. Case closed. Of course, we will cooperate with OSC, should they choose to open an investigation of this frivolous complaint.”
DeVos is not the first official in President Donald Trump’s administration to be investigated under the Hatch Act.
Multiple events at the Republican National Convention were criticized for violating the ethics law, including when Cabinet officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Department of Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf, made appearances and speeches.