U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the person overseeing what President Joe Biden calls the “incredible transition” away from fossil fuels, has been rung up for a Hatch Act violation.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, or OSC, a federal watchdog agency, asserted Granholm violated the law when she openly advocated for left-wing causes last year.
The Hatch Act prohibits using government employees from using their official authority and title to participate in partisan politics, including trying to sway an election.
The OSC said Granholm broke the law when she called for electing Democrats in an October 2021 interview with the fashion magazine Marie Clair.
“ Voting gave Democrats a bare majority, but a majority, in the House [and] in the Senate. I am using Democrats as a substitute for the policies that you believe in, the policies that you would like to see happen,” Granholm said.
“And what I say to people all the time is the most important thing you can do is make your voice heard. Vote! Put people in who agree with you. The arguments in DC right now wouldn’t be as tough as they are if we had just a couple more, just a couple more senators that agreed with us or just a couple more members of the House. So, continue to be out there, continue to elect people.”
She added, “And the only way you get policy you want is by putting people in office. By hiring the right people. They work for you. You can hire them; you can fire them. Let’s hire a few more.”
The OSC gave Granholm credit for trying to “backpedal” from openly advocating for her fellow Democrats. But it wasn’t enough.
“At bottom, she told listeners that they needed to vote for Democrats so that more Democrats would be elected to pass the legislation they wanted,” the OSC said in its rebuke of Granholm.
“Her attempt to backpedal does not change the meaning of her words or undo the fact that she was talking about the Democratic Party throughout her statement. Thus, because Secretary Granholm engaged in activity directed at the success of the Democratic Party during an interview she gave in her official capacity—she violated the Hatch Act’s use of official authority prohibition.”
But in true Democratic fashion, the Biden administration will not make one of its own pay a penalty, even when the evidence is overwhelming.
“The evidence gathered during our investigation does not support the conclusion that it was a knowing violation,” the OSC said in its report. “Before the interview, she had not received significant training about the Hatch Act’s use of official authority prohibition.”
As the Free Beacon noted in its article, “It is unclear how it was determined that Granholm was unaware of the prohibition on using her official position on electioneering.”
“Granholm is a lawyer and has significant legal experience—she has a law degree from Harvard Law School, was a clerk for a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, and worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney before she served as Michigan’s attorney general.”
Moreover, the Free Beacon added, “Granholm, in fact, referenced the Hatch Act during the interview in which she violated the act, saying that it prohibited her from making explicitly political statements during the interview.”
“I’m subject to something called the Hatch Act, which means I can’t advocate for people to call their Members of Congress,” Granholm told Marie Clair. “If I weren’t subject to the Hatch Act, I’m sure you know I would be, but I am so I can’t do that.”