Donald Trump vowed to travel to Florida for a rally tomorrow, but today that plan was scrapped. Instead, the president will hold a rally at… wait for it… the White House.
The gathering is scheduled to take place on the South Lawn of the White House in conjunction with a previously planned event organized by controversial conservative activist Candace Owens’ group Blexit, a campaign to urge Black Americans to leave the Democratic Party, sources said.
Trump, according to a source is expected to address the crowd from the balcony of the White House.
From the sound of it, this would be a violation of the Hatch Act which states that federal employees are not allowed to:
Engage in political activity – i.e., activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group – while the employee is on duty, in any federal room or building.
So while the president can’t get in trouble for violating the Hatch Act, other employees certainly can. Beyond how inappropriate it is to hold a political event at the White House, it also goes against coronavirus precautions. And if it’s anything like the Amy Coney Barrett event, we are assuming there will be no social distancing and very few masks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said today that the Barrett announcement was a super spreader event. More than 30 people associated with the White House have tested positive.
Forbes quotes Donald Sherman, the deputy director of non-partisan ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics:
“It’s hardly surprising that President Trump is once again using government resources and ignoring public health guidance to prop up his campaign… As the President gets more and more desperate politically, he will continue to abuse his office and risk the health of his staff and supporters for any perceived electoral advantage.”