President Donald Trump's efforts to shore up his support with seniors by mailing out gift cards could potentially be illegal.
"The health department’s top lawyer is warning in an internal memo that President Donald Trump's plan to give seniors $200 discount cards to buy prescription drugs could violate election law," Politico reported Friday, citing "three officials with knowledge of those legal concerns."
"The lawyer’s objection, coupled with his advice to seek approval from the Department of Justice, is a significant blow to Trump’s hope to promote the hastily devised plan before Election Day," Politico explained.
"Robert Charrow, a political appointee who serves as the Health and Human Services department's general counsel, warned in the memo that the plan's timing and design could invite legal challenges, those officials said. For instance, Charrow cautioned health officials that moving forward with the proposed $7.9 billion plan — which would be paid for by dipping into one of Medicare's trust funds, and which senior Trump appointees had hoped to tout in letters sent to millions of seniors this week — would spark concerns about inappropriately using federal funds so close to the election," Politico reported.
Charrow's office reportedly instructed officials to seek guidance for the public integrity section of the Department of Justice.