The Washington Post reports:
In a move that some ethics advocates say could be an opening to limit dissent, the federal government has issued new guidance for the political activity of federal government workers, warning that weighing in on impeachment or talking about “the Resistance” may constitute prohibited activity.
The Office of Special Counsel is charged with enforcing the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work. The office, not to be confused with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, is run by Henry Kerner, whom President Trump nominated to the post.
The unsigned “Guidance Regarding Political Activity,” which was issued Tuesday, uses a question-and-answer format as it seeks to clarify the types of actions and rhetoric considered political activity and therefore prohibited at work.
And in very fucking related news:
The U.S. Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) on Friday found that six members of the Trump administration violated the Hatch Act. The OSC cited six staffers with violating the federal law in response to a complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) in August.
The act bars federal employees from using their offices and resources for political purposes.
The office concluded that deputy press secretary Raj Shah, President Trump’s executive assistant Madeleline Westerhoust, Vice President Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah, White House Deputy Director of Communications Jessica Ditto and two others violated the Hatch Act.
NEW: Office of Special Counsel (not Mueller) Hatch Act guidance effectively bans federal employees from advocating for impeachment or using the words “resist” or “resistance” to oppose administration policies. We’re calling on OSC to rescind the guidance: https://t.co/AZuRXZo1Rn pic.twitter.com/lG1kSZcjER
— American Oversight (@weareoversight) November 29, 2018
The Office of Special Counsel is run by Trump appointee Henry Kerner. This new guidance to federal workers was … unsigned.
— Andrew deGrandpre (@adegrandpre) November 30, 2018