US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo is under investigation for potentially violating a federal law that forbids federal employees from participating in political activity while on duty or while inside federal owned buildings after he sensationally addressed the Republican Party national convention in August.
The Office of the Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, has started a probe into Pompeo’s speech to the Republican National Convention while on a taxpayer funded trip to Jerusalem on August 25.
This investigation is the second investigation launched by the special counsel into potential Hatch Act violations by Pompeo, who has been accused of allegedly using State Department resources for personal or political gain.
“Our offices have confirmed that the Office of Special Counsel has launched a probe into potential Hatch Act violations tied to Secretary Pompeo’s speech to the Republican National Convention,” Rep. Ellot Engel, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations, wrote in a joint statement on Tuesday.
“This information comes on the heels of reporting that OSC is also looking into Secretary Pompeo’s stated commitment to rush out more of Hillary Clinton’s emails by Election Day and as the Secretary has misused State Department resources on his speech tour of swing states,” the Democrats said.
“As we get closer to both this year’s election and his own inevitable return to electoral politics, Mike Pompeo has grown even more brazen in misusing the State Department and the taxpayer dollars that fund it as vehicles for the Administration’s, and his own, political ambitions,” the lawmakers said.
Democrats in congress are also looking into Pompeo’s push to have Donald Trump sack rhe State Department Inspector General, Steve Linick, who had been looking into five matters of potential wrongdoing at the State Department at the time, including Pompeo’s possible misuse of taxpayer resources.
Engel and Lowey added that Pompeo’s State Department has “repeatedly missed Congressional overseers’ deadlines for producing documents on his recent domestic speeches that will help us understand whether they were improper political activities. So we’re grateful to OSC—whom Mr. Pompeo can’t fire as he did the Inspector General—for looking into this matter.”