Some have questioned why Trump HUD appointee Lynne Patton faced real disciplinary consequences for her repeated Hatch Act violations when others like Kellyanne Conway, also found after repeated @CREWcrew complaints to have multiple violations, did not. 1/…
Here's the deal: the Office of Special Counsel, which administers the Hatch Act clearly has legal authority to refer agency employees like Patton for discipline. OSC believes though that the law does not allow them to refer White House appointees like Conway for discipline. 2/
OSC believes the law only allows them to recommend to the president that White House officials like Conway and Peter Navarro be disciplined for repeated violations. They did this, recommending that Conway be fired. Then-president Donald Trump ignored their recommendation. 3/
OSC should be praised, not criticized, for seeking discipline in the case of a serial violator like Patton when they could do so. There was finally accountability. But it is not fair that other serial violators like Conway and Navarro got off scot-free despite OSC's findings. 4/
The law needs to be changed to make clear that OSC can take disciplinary action against White House appointees. A bill called the Protecting Our Democracy Act would do that, along with other key reforms to stop abuses of power. Congress must pass it. 5/…

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More from @NoahBookbinder

11 Feb
We've been hearing this a lot: the House managers have successfully shown how horrible the January 6 insurrection was and also highlighted Donald Trump's vulgar comments. But they haven't really proven the connection between Trump's comments and the attack. This is nonsense. 1/
There is a criminal case to be made against Trump for his role in inciting the inspiration, and @CREWcrew has made that case in its criminal sedition complaint against Trump. But this is not a criminal case, and does not require that kind of proof. 2/…
On a basic level, this case is painfully obvious. Donald Trump spent weeks and months and years saying, falsely, the election would be fraudulent and then that it had been stolen. This primed his supporters to believe their democratic rights were being take away. 3/
Read 9 tweets
10 Nov 20
Let's be clear: President Trump lost the election. The efforts by the leaders of a major political party to say that is not so and to cast doubt on a free and fair election are an anti-democratic attempt to steal the election. 1/4…
It is tempting to say we're just talking about a self-indulgent and semi-delusional leader who is appropriately being given time and space to come to grips with his loss. That is not right. His emotional needs do not take precedence when the democracy is at stake. 2/4
Most likely all of this will stop after the votes are all counted and the frivolous legal challenges defeated. If that is the case, there will still be tens of millions of Americans who wrongly believe the election was illegitimate, which will do great damage to our society. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
21 Sep 20
I worked close up on multiple Supreme Court nominations as a counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. There is a rigorous process that both parties have rightly insisted on. It includes a careful examination of just about everything a potential justice has written or said. 1/5
It includes a thorough FBI background investigation with a chance for senators to review it and follow up on issues raised in it. It includes a chance for senators to have private conversations with the nominee, to ask questions publicly at a hearing, to follow up in writing. 2/5
It includes public input from others who have knowledge and perspectives; it includes a review of finances and conflicts and whatever specific issues may arise in a particular nomination. It includes discussion and debate. This is a serious process. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
15 May 20
Pay attention to this: the President and his allies are asserting that those officials who appropriately investigated conduct by Michael Flynn and others that posed real national security risks themselves did something scandalous and criminal. 1/7…
No one seems to be disputing that applicable laws and procedures around "unmasking" were followed, and remember that the Russia investigation found a real attack on our elections and led to multiple indictments and convictions. 2/7
Still the President and his allies are yelling scandal and saying that senior officials should go to prison, though it's not clear for what. This is not just an attempt to distract from coronavirus headlines, this is dangerous authoritarian stuff. 3/7…
Read 7 tweets
8 Apr 20
Knowing that the President has the ability to provide needed supplies and other help to states, governors are treading carefully with him. Some states seem to have fared better, others have fared worse. States may be pitted against each other. 1/5…
The constitution's framers were deeply concerned about states currying favor with the President in exactly such a situation. They wrote a clause into the constitution, the domestic emoluments clause, which prohibited states from giving benefits to the President. 2/5
So far reports have only suggested that governors are choosing words carefully and saying nice things about the President to secure better treatment. But isn't it logical to think they might be tempted to steer business or tax or other benefits to his properties to win favor? 3/5
Read 5 tweets
4 Apr 20
People need to be paying attention to the anti-democratic steps the President is taking while people are appropriately preoccupied with the current pandemic. Some of the most outrageous steps were on a Friday night. Here is a partial litany: 1/7
Last night he announced his intention to fire the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, who informed Congress of the Ukraine whistleblower complaint. This is payback against an independent public servant for telling the truth. 2/7…
The same night, he nominated a White House lawyer to be special inspector general for the stimulus program--an important oversight position that should be going to an independent expert, not a loyalist. 3/7…
Read 8 tweets

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