Trump aide accused of Hatch Act violation after urging Amash primary challenge


A senior adviser to President Donald Trump on Saturday urged a primary challenge against a House Freedom Caucus member, prompting charges that he may have violated federal law against using his official position to sway an election campaign.

Dan Scavino Jr., director of social media and senior White House adviser, tweeted that Michigan Rep. Justin Amash is a "big liability" for the state and encouraged a GOP primary opponent to oust him in 2018.

".@realDonaldTrump is bringing auto plants & jobs back to Michigan. @justinamash is a big liability. #TrumpTrain, defeat him in primary," Scavino wrote.

But that tweet, sent from Scavino's personal Twitter account, immediately landed him in controversy as ethics lawyers called out Scavino for possibly violating the Hatch Act, a Depression-era law that regulates campaigning by government officials.

"Look at the official photo on this page. Read the Hatch Act and fire this man NOW. Someone call OSC," Richard Painter, the former ethics attorney in the George W. Bush White House, wrote on Twitter, referring to the Office of Special Counsel, the independent agency charged with monitoring and enforcing the law.

White House press officials and Scavino did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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