FBI head James Comey has come under sustained and heavy criticism from the public, as well as media, law enforcement veterans and lawmakers who believe he broke with longstanding Justice Department policies and perhaps Federal Law by directly intruding into the presidential race — and potentially impacting its outcome.
There's a longstanding policy of not doing anything that could influence an election," George J. Terwilliger III, a deputy attorney general under President George Bush, told the New York Times. "Those guidelines exist for a reason. Sometimes, that makes for hard decisions. But by passing them has consequences."
Aside from guidelines for federal officials, there is also a federal law under which Comey seems to have violated.
That law is the Hatch Act of 1939 whose main provision prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials of that branch from directly supporting candidates. The law was named for Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico. It was most recently amended in 2012.
The Hatch Act provision most commonly invoked in discussions is 5 U.S.C. 7323 (a) (1) which prohibits a government employee from "us[ing] his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affection the result of an election."
In March 2016, the Justice Department issues a memo of warning, emphasizing that federal employees "should be particularly mindful of these rules in an election year, and defining "prohibited political activity, to include all activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group."
Did Comey's letter of October 28, 2016, 11 days before the election, violate the Hatch Act?
Richard Painter, professor of law and ethics, and chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005-2007, thinks so. He filed a complaint with the Official Counsel, and with the Office of Government Ethics on October 29, 2016,.
Do you want to file a complaint too? Here is the Link.
Name Comey. Ask that it be investigated as to whether by his letter of October 28, 2016 he used his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affection the result of an election and in so doing, violated the Hatch Act.
It takes about 5 minutes to complete the form.
Our goal: 1,000,000 complaints against Comey for Hatch Act violation. Let's find out what happened. You can help.
December 27, 2016