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House Oversight Committee demands to know if Trump is violating ‘criminal statutes’ with RNC White House speech

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President Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster (screengrab)

On Thursday, Politico reported that the House Oversight Committee has sent a letter to the Office of Special Counsel demanding clarification on “criminal statutes” surrounding President Donald Trump’s decision to give his RNC acceptance speech on the White House lawn.

In particular, they believe that the speech could raise legal problems distinct from the Hatch Act, which forbids government officials from campaigning with government resources or in an official capacity.

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“The revelation came in a follow-up letter sent Monday to House Democrats by the Office of Special Counsel, which oversees Hatch Act compliance. The letter clarified that while the office had previously confirmed Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are exempt from the Hatch Act, it could not answer questions about other ‘criminal provisions,'” reported Anita Kumar. “‘That opinion, which noted that the President and Vice President are not covered by any of the provisions of the Hatch Act, is limited to the civil provisions of the Hatch Act and does not opine on criminal provisions found in Title 18 of the U.S. Code,’ reads the previously unreported letter, which was sent to House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney.”

The law in question criminalizes any effort to “intimidate, threaten, command or coerce” government employees to engage in political activity — which, unlike the Hatch Act, doesn’t exempt the president and vice president.

Trump chose the White House to deliver his convention speech following the collapse of plans to hold an in-person convention in Jacksonville, Florida, currently experiencing a coronavirus outbreak. The Jacksonville plan itself was conceived after a dispute between Trump and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper over public health restrictions on the convention, which was originally to take place in Charlotte.


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2020 Election

Here’s the doomsday scenario in Pennsylvania that could cost Joe Biden the election

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On Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer walked through a potential voter error that could cost Joe Biden Pennsylvania — the exclusion of so-called "naked ballots," or mail-in ballots that aren't properly sealed in two layers of envelopes.

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The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg may have already doomed Obamacare

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death may drastically affect the fate of a lawsuit seeking to strike down Obamacare — even if President Donald Trump fails to replace her with a more conservative justice.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Likely top Trump SCOTUS choice – a right wing religious extremist – was at the White House today

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President Donald Trump's current top choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited the White House on Monday.

Reporters including CNN Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta say Judge Amy Coney Barrett visited the White House today.

Top contender for SCOTUS pick, Amy Coney Barrett was at WH today, we've confirmed.

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