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House Panel Investigating Whether Pompeo’s RNC Speech Violated Law

House Panel Investigating Whether Pompeo’s RNC Speech Violated Law

In a letter sent to Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun Tuesday, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) said he is launching a probe into the circumstances surrounding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to address the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem. 

Castro, the chair of the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Pompeo’s choice to speak at the convention “may violate the Hatch Act, government-wide regulations implementing that Act, and State Department policies,” according to Castro’s letter, which The Daily Beast obtained. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from participating in certain political activities. And as first reported by Politico, State documents show Pompeo’s choice to participate in the Republican National Convention may also violate legal opinions disseminated internally within the department of which the secretary himself approved.

In a cable to State employees in July, Pompeo said it was important employees “not improperly engage the Department of State in the political process, and that they adhere to the Hatch Act and Department policies in their own political activities.” In his note, Pompeo referred to a December memo from the department’s lawyers that said Senate-confirmed appointees “may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event.”

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