Watchdog Group Calls for Hatch Act Investigation of Gorka

American Oversight Asks Office of Special Counsel to Determine if White House Aide Seb Gorka’s Campaign Rally Tweets Broke Federal Law

Washington, DC – Nonpartisan ethics watchdog group American Oversight today asked the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to investigate whether White House adviser Sebastian Gorka violated the Hatch Act by posting political tweets from President Trump’s recent campaign rally in Ohio.

“President Trump is already running for reelection and it’s wrong and unlawful for White House employees to use their official positions as campaign platforms,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “Mr. Gorka has festooned his Twitter account with White House imagery and his official title making his online commentary indistinguishable from official White House statements. The law prohibits that kind of commingling of campaign and official platforms, and Mr. Gorka’s conduct should be investigated and dealt with according to the rules.”

While attending the July 25 rally in Youngstown, OH, Gorka posted a number of highly political tweets from the Twitter account (@SebGorka) that he also uses in his official capacity as a senior national security aide at the White House.

Gorka created his Twitter account before joining the administration and it does not carry the “45” suffix attached to accounts created by the White House, but as American Oversight notes in its letter to OSC, Gorka’s account overtly highlights his official position:

In addition to describing himself as a “Deputy Assistant to the 45th American President,” Mr. Gorka uses a picture of himself with President Trump in the Oval Office (with a “White House Photograph” watermark) as his profile picture; displays a banner photo of President Trump and Vice President Pence across the top of his Twitter page; and has a tweet containing a quote from and a photograph of Mr. Trump’s inauguration permanently pinned to the top of his page.

The Hatch Act is a federal law that prohibits overt political activity by government employees, and it is designed to ensure that taxpayer resources aren’t used to fund political campaigns. In a separate investigation, OSC recently determined that Twitter activity by another senior White House aide, Dan Scavino, had also crossed the line.

Evers added, “If Seb Gorka wants to quit his job and go work for the Trump campaign, that’s fine, but as long as he’s using his Twitter account for his $155,000 a year, taxpayer-funded position in the White House, he needs to follow the law.”

American Oversight’s letter to OSC:

Letter to the Office of Special Counsel regarding Seb Gorka and the Hatch Act (Text)

The relevant tweets from Seb Gorka are below: