After more than 500 federal employees in President Joe Biden’s administration signed an open letter urging the White House to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is calling for an investigation into the employees themselves.
With this in mind, Sen. Rubio’s press release included the possibility that these employees could be “using their roles in the federal government to undercut efforts aimed at supporting Israel.”
Additionally, the federal signees could also have violated the Hatch Act, which bars employees from participating in “partisan political activities at work.”
Sen. Rubio sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (led by Acting Special Counsel Karen Gorman) to urge an investigation into the matter, specifically possible violations of the Hatch Act.
In the letter, he said it was “reasonable to suspect” that the letter was a coordinated effort among employees.
“Given the timeline with which the anonymous letter was sent and the known connections between administration staff and the president’s political allies, it is reasonable to suspect that these government employees could have coordinated the letter with partisan political actors and/or groups, such as the DNC, while on government time, using government resources,” said Sen. Rubio. “If this suspicion were to be true, it would constitute a major violation of the Hatch Act, which places certain prohibitions on partisan political activities for federal employees while at work.”
Furthermore, Rubio sent letters to U.S. Inspectors Generals demanding an investigation into employees and “the extent which they used their roles to work against policies that support the State of Israel.”
“Because the letter claims to have been signed by employees across 40 different government agencies and by political appointees confirmed by the U.S. Senate, there is ample opportunity for the signers to abuse their positions to carry out their self-declared goal,” wrote Rubio. “These range from officials at the U.S. Department of State insisting on prolonging the review periods of arms sales to Israel to supervisors denying promotion and salary increases to employees that support Israel.”
Rubio concluded, “Therefore, I urge you to conduct a full investigation to determine which employees signed the letter, publicize their names, and assess to what extent they have used their positions to work counter to the policies of the President.”
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