Leading Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives filed new legislation that would ban federal employees from working with big tech companies to censor Americans.
The bill comes as ongoing reports show that federal law enforcement and the White House have regularly communicated with social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, pressuring the companies to remove posts and accounts for a range of issues, including questioning the COVID-19 vaccine.
A prominent liberal watchdog group filed a Hatch Act complaint against White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday, saying her apparent endorsement of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe during a White House press briefing may have violated federal law.
“By mixing official government business with support of a candidate for partisan political office in the weeks before the election and engaging in political activity while on duty, Ms. Psaki appears to have used her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election, political activity that is prohibited by law,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said in its complaint filed with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) and other Democrats have accused White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany of violating the HATCH Act. Cohen retweeted an article from The New York Times that accused McEnany of breaking the law.
“Kayleigh McEnany’s violations of the #HatchAct would be a scandal in any other administration,” wrote Cohen. “Grifters and miscreants. Utterly appalling. #CultureOfCorruption”