FCC Commissioner Calls for Trump’s Reelection, Violates Hatch Act

In remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington DC on February 23, Michael O’Rielly, a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) violated the Hatch Act when he called for the reelection of President Donald Trump while appearing in his official capacity as a federal official.

“I think what we can do is make sure as conservatives that we elect good people to both the House, the Senate, and make sure that President Trump gets re-elected.”

– FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, speaking at CPAC, February 23, 2018

The Hatch Act explicitly prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty. O’Rielly was appearing at CPAC in his official capacity as a commissioner  of the FCC – the government body which oversees regulation of the news media and the internet – and his call for Trump’s reelection violated direct guidance issued by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) regarding federal employees and President Trump.

Nonpartisan ethics watchdog American Oversight sent a letter to the Office of Special Counsel asking for an immediate investigation into O’Rielly’s statements.

Statement from American Oversight Executive Director, Austin Evers:

“Commissioner O’Rielly’s naked partisanship fundamentally undermines the independence that is supposed to be at the heart of the FCC’s work. It’s unlikely the public’s trust can be restored by anything less than his resignation because everyone now knows what his ultimate goal is: the reelection of Donald Trump.”

American Oversight’s letter to OSC is below:

Related Blog Posts

June 30, 2020

Investigations Update: Family Separation, Unmarked Law Enforcement, and Trump’s Campaign Rallies

Agency for International Development, Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Cameron County - Texas, Customs and Border Protection, Dallas County - Texas, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Army, Department of the Interior, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Florida Department of Health, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, National Guard Bureau, National Park Service, New Hampshire Attorney General, New Hampshire Office of the Governor, New Hampshire Secretary of State, North Carolina Department of Health, Nueces County - Texas, Oklahoma Department of Health, Securities and Exchange Commission, Tarrant County - Texas, Texas Attorney General, Transportation Security Administration, Travis County - Texas, Tulsa County - Oklahoma, U.S. Marshals Service
Investigation Update
June 19, 2020

News Roundup: The Administration’s Failure to Confront Two National Crises

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Florida Department of Health, Florida Office of the Governor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Jacksonville Mayor’s Office - Florida, National Credit Union Administration, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Small Business Administration, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Transportation Office of the Inspector General, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, United States Postal Service, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
News
June 12, 2020

News Roundup: Georgia’s Disastrous Election, the Administration’s Alarming Protest Response, and Barr’s Troubling Tenure

Baltimore Mayor's Office, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Civil Division, Customs and Border Protection, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Interior, District of Columbia Mayor's Office, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Florida Department of State, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Justice Management Division, Miami-Dade County - Florida, National Guard Bureau, National Park Service, Nevada Secretary of State, New Jersey Department of Human Services, New York City Department for the Aging, New York City Office of the Mayor, New York Police Department, New York State Department of Health, New York State Office for the Aging, North Carolina, North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina Senate, Office of Information Policy, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Office of Management and Budget, Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio Senate, State Office of the Inspector General, Texas Secretary of State, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, United States Postal Service, United States Secret Service, Wisconsin Elections Commission
News
May 29, 2020

News Roundup: A Somber Week After Memorial Day

Brown County - Wisconsin, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Customs and Border Protection, Dane County - Wisconsin, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Army, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Food and Drug Administration, General Services Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Milwaukee County - Wisconsin, National Security Agency, North Carolina Department of Health, North Carolina Office of the Governor, Office of Information Policy, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Outagamie County - Wisconsin, U.S. Agency for Global Media, U.S. Department of the Navy, Waukesha County - Wisconsin, Winnebago County - Wisconsin
News
May 22, 2020

News Roundup: One Firing, Multiple Scandals

Agency for International Development, Athens-Clarke County - Georgia, Bexar County - Texas, Cobb County - Georgia, Dallas County - Texas, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Secretary of State, Gwinnett County - Georgia, Harris County - Texas, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Small Business Administration, State Office of the Inspector General, Texas Department of State Health Services, Travis County - Texas, Webb County - Texas
News
May 15, 2020

News Roundup: The Subversion of Justice at the Justice Department

Cobb County - Georgia, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Food and Drug Administration, Georgia Department of Corrections, Gwinnett County - Georgia, Louisiana Department of Health, Louisiana Office of the Governor, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, New Orleans Mayor's Office, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Office of the Mayor, New York Office of the Governor, New York State Department of Health, Office of Legal Counsel, Office of Management and Budget, Small Business Administration, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, United States Postal Service, Wisconsin Elections Commission
News
May 8, 2020

News Roundup: Who Will Watch the Inspectors General?

Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Civil Division, Criminal Division, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of the Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Election Commission, Georgia Attorney General, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Secretary of State, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Troup County - Georgia, U.S. Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard
News
April 3, 2020

News Roundup: Whose Stockpile, and Which States?

Broward County - Florida, Bureau of Industry and Security, California Office of the Governor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Duval County - Florida, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Office of the Governor, Food and Drug Administration, Gadsden County - Florida, Hendry County - Florida, Jackson County - Florida, King County - Washington, Leon County - Florida, Miami-Dade County - Florida, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, New York Office of the Governor, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Ohio Office of the Governor, Oklahoma Department of Health, Oklahoma Office of the Governor, Osceola County - Florida, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Washington Office of the Governor
News
March 20, 2020

News Roundup: Testing, Messaging and Missed Chances

Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Federal Communications Commission, Florida Office of the Attorney General, Georgia Attorney General, Harris County - Texas, Nevada Department of the Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Texas Attorney General
News
December 20, 2019

News Roundup: Beyond Impeachment — The Investigations Continue

Administration for Children and Families, Congress, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Government Accountability Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Management and Budget
News
October 1, 2019

We’re Suing the State Department for Giuliani-Ukraine Documents

Department of State
Investigation Update
September 4, 2019

Lawsuit Seeks Records from Investigation into Potential Trump Campaign-Finance Violations

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
January 28, 2019

Court Orders Trump Administration to Turn Over More Voter-Fraud Commission Records

White House
Investigation Update
February 6, 2018

Voter Fraud Commission Asked Texas to Highlight Hispanic Surnames in Voter Data

White House
Investigation Update
November 16, 2017

Maine Secretary of State Dunlap Election Commission Lawsuit

Investigation Update
September 18, 2017

Austin Evers Discusses Trump Inaugural Funds on MSNBC

News
September 2, 2017

DOJ Confirms Trump Lied in “Wiretap” Tweets

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
August 1, 2017

American Oversight Obtains Attorney General Sessions SF-86 Signature Page

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
July 28, 2017

Watchdog Group Calls for Hatch Act Investigation of Gorka

White House
July 27, 2017

Call for OSC Investigation of Pruitt Travel to Oklahoma

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
July 21, 2017

American Oversight Calls for Resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
News
July 13, 2017

DOJ Releases Redacted Page of Sessions’s SF-86 to American Oversight

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
July 12, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Pence-Kobach Commission Records

Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, General Services Administration
News
May 24, 2017

After American Oversight Lawsuit, DOJ Confirms that Sessions Lied about Russian Contacts

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
April 19, 2017

American Oversight Sues DOJ for Release of Trump Tower Wiretap Records, Russia Investigation Documents

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, White House
Investigation Update