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Monday, October 31, 2016

"Explosive" indeed! Guess who is EXEMPT from the Hatch Act?

This letter from Harry Reid has ignited many a discussion about the Hatch Act, which was passed in 1939 to prevent the WPA from becoming a patronage system. (FDR opposed it at first, and then at the last second pretended that the whole thing was his idea.) Reid has suggested that FBI Director James Comey violated the act by "interfering" in the current election.

He also said these incredibly fascinating words:
The double standard established by your actions is clear.

In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity. The public has a right to know this information. I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public. There is no danger to American interests from releasing it. And yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.

By contrast, as soon as you came into possession of the slightest innuendo related to Secretary Clinton, you rushed to publicize it in the most negative light possible.
In the preceding post (scroll down), I snarkily remarked that the Hatch Act now protects Republicans but not Democrats.

Then I did a little more research.

As it turns out, we need not rely on James Comey or on anyone in the U.S. intelligence community. There are at least two individuals in the executive branch of government who can legally divulge this information without any fear of the Hatch Act. 

Their names: Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Go ahead and double-check what I'm saying. Here's the official website of the Office of Special Counsel.
All civilian employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the President and the Vice President, are covered by the provisions of the Hatch Act.
Wikipedia says that "certain designated high-level officials of that branch" (that is, the Executive Branch) are also exempt from the Hatch Act.

Do you understand what this means? It means that if there really is "explosive information" about Donald Trump's relationship with the Russians, Obama and Biden have every right to talk about it in public. I would go further: I say that they have an obligation to speak up.

Perhaps you now want to encourage those two gentlemen to fulfill this obligation.

If you want to contact Obama, go here. The same page will also give you a way to contact Biden.

Will Obama and Biden pay attention to your message? I don't know. I suspect that a thousand similarly-phrased messages might get some attention -- hell, even a few hundred letters might do the job. Suggested wording:
Senator Harry Reid says that the intelligence community possesses "explosive information" about Donald Trump's relationship with the Russian government. If this is true, the public has a right to know -- BEFORE election day. The time is now. Please reveal whatever you can find out about Donald Trump's campaign and the government of Vladimir Putin.
Send it twice -- once to Barack Obama and once to Joe Biden.

Spread the news! Spread this post! I honestly believe that this is the most effective action you can take right now. Just hit this link, choose your party, cut and paste the message, and hit SEND. Done in seconds.

Wouldn't you love to discover what the NSA knows about Donnie and Vladimir?

(By the way: Harry Reid stands outside the Hatch Act, because he's not part of the Executive Branch. However, his discussions with members of the intelligence community are probably covered by a security oath.)


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