Stephanie Grisham says Hatch Act violations were a ‘joke’ in the Trump White House

Stephanie Grisham
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, second from left, listens to deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on the South Lawn of the White House as they wait for President Donald Trump to arrive to speak to the media about the Congressional testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller, on July 24, 2019.
  • Stephanie Grisham said that Hatch Act violations were seen as a "joke" in the Trump White House.
  • Grisham, the former White House press secretary, said that such violations were "a badge of honor."
  • Grisham resigned as Melania Trump's chief of staff press secretary after the January 6 Capitol riot.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday said that it was considered a "joke" when staffers in former President Donald Trump's administration violated the Hatch Act, a federal law that bars federal employees from engaging in political activity.

The Office of the Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency, last week released a report affirming that 13 senior officials in the Trump administration breached the Hatch Act.

During an appearance on CNN, Grisham said that such transgressions were tolerated by Trump himself.

"I recall in the White House when we would get Hatch Act violations, that was a badge of honor. It was a joke in the White House," Grisham told host Jim Acosta.

"And you know, the president used to say to us, 'You know who's in charge of the Hatch Act? It's me. Go ahead, say whatever you want to say,'" she added.

Grisham, who was former first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff and press secretary at the time of her resignation from the administration on January 6, also predicted that the former president would lean on his allies to try and block any sort of federal oversight from the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection, pointing to his consistent flouting of the ethics law.

"I think this makes the 2022 elections more vital than ever because I have a feeling, knowing them like I do, he's going to tell everyone to stall and that if the House takes over with his rubber stamp candidates that he wants to get in, the special committee will then go away. That's kind of what I foresee happening," she told CNN.

The Department of Justice on Friday announced that a federal grand jury indicted former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on two counts of contempt of Congress by failing to appear before a deposition last month and for rejecting requests to turn over documents. He turned himself in to the FBI on Monday morning.

Grisham stated during her interview that she was "very glad" to see the indictment and hopes that the legal action taken against Bannon pushes other subpoenaed Trump aides to cooperate with the January 6 investigation.

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