Biden-Nominated Massachusetts U.S. Attorney May Have Violated Hatch Act
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins is being investigated by the Justice Department’s inspector general. She is being looked at over possible Hatch Act violations along with allegedly using a personal cell phone to conduct official business.
According to the Associated Press, this will be the second time an investigation was started focusing on potential wrongdoing by the Democrat attorney since she took the office less than a year ago.
The fate of Rollins will likely be decided by the one who nominated her, President Joe Biden. This is after the pending investigation is finished. If she is found to have violated the Hatch Act, she would be removed from federal employment.
According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the purpose of the Hatch Act is “to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation.”
Rollins was confirmed in December of 2021 with the help of a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. She is now a high-ranking law enforcement official and the top prosecutor in Massachusetts.
She was a controversial pick for the position because of her opposition to prosecuting certain types of criminals. And she appeared at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser with first lady Jill Biden in Andover, Massachusetts, on July 7.
Most experts agreed that with all the political division in the country right now, it would have been better for her not to have accompanied the First Lady to such a partisan event.
Donald Sherman, vice president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said that it was fine to attend a fundraiser but they can’t use their office or government resources to do it. But Rollins reportedly drove up to the event in a car with U.S. government plates during normal business hours.
Rollins claimed on Twitter — where she identifies as a “Justice Warrior” and “Glass Ceiling Demolisher” — that she had “approval to meet Dr. Biden,” but didn’t specify who had given her approval.
I wasn’t asked for a comment before this ran. It’s almost as if the Herald didn’t want to know I had approval to meet Dr. Biden & left early to speak at 2 community events last nightAlas, back to keeping Boston & MA Part 1 crimeNice try though. https://t.co/wpVCUUdsev
— DA Rachael Rollins (@DARollins) July 15, 2022
According to the Associated Press, there was one person familiar with the approval Rollins received that said she was given limited permission to meet with Dr. Biden outdid elf the home where the fundraiser was held. But the Boston Herald indicated that Rollins entered the home with the First Lady at approximately 4:41 pm.
Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton saw her attending the fundraising event with the First Lady as a “blatant violation” of federal law and he demanded an investigation into Rollins’s activity there.
Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons also called for the DOJ inspector general to launch an “immediate investigation.” He claimed that Rollins’ appearance at the fundraiser was equal to her using her position in law enforcement to achieve political purposes.
Lyons said, “This individual is Massachusetts’ lead federal prosecutor and is apparently attending high-dollar Democratic Party fundraisers during business hours on the taxpayer’s dime. … The Democrats do this because they believe the rule of law does not apply to them.”
Rollins continues to be unapologetic about her appearance, even though DOJ Attorney General Merrick Garland put out a memo instructing all employees to do all they can to maintain the public trust and make sure that politics in both “fact and appearance” do not compromise the integrity of their work.
The DOJ added new restrictions, some belief prompted by Rollins’s appearance at the fundraiser, that state non-career appointees may not participate in any political event in any capacity.
The Associated Press has also reported that Rollins has used her personal cell phone to conduct business while on the road. This harkens back to the trouble caused by another Democrat, Hillary Clinton.
She should have learned that lesson.