Last night, one speech stood out as an attempt to troll the Democrats.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to the virtual convention from Jerusalem.
In my view the speech was just okay. It said things that needed to be said, but it didn’t have the same quality as some of the other speeches. I say this as someone who believes that Pompeo will be a strong contender for the GOP nomination in 2024.
The announcement that he was speaking did get the desired reaction. All the Logan Act authorities who have been unemployed since the early days of the Trump administration, perhaps moonlighting as Wuhan virus experts and epidemiologists to keep body and soul together, now had a new lease on life as Hatch Act experts.
Diplomats are aghast that Mike Pompeo will address the RNC from Jerusalem.
"It's all just shredding the Hatch Act," a current State Dept official says of Pompeo's speech. https://t.co/otvhcWBVQ1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 25, 2020
They are A-freaking-GHAST!!1!!11! I tell you.
This is a violation of the Hatch Act which prohibits use of official position to support a partisan political campaign.@SecPompeo was on an official diplomatic mission. He should be fired for this. So should his boss. https://t.co/3oOvaxxtXz
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) August 26, 2020
I don’t know who this is but a neckbearded toad like this on the verge of losing bowel control is irresistable from a comedy aspect
69 days to go! 23.9M+ cases & 820k+ deaths globally, 5.7M+ cases & 178k+ deaths in US, Laura a Cat 3, Trump took $2.3M for his business, RNC speaker pulled after posting conspiracy, Falwell Jr resigns, NY AG’s lawsuit, Pompeo breached Hatch Act, Night 1 RNC vs DNC. #ResistOn🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Bm14xp9EN1
— Justin Yselonia (@JustinYselonia) August 26, 2020
The degree to which this agitated Democrats was apparent from the moment it was revealed that Pompeo was speaking. The commie who runs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the aptly named
Raul Joaquin Castro, announced his intention to investigate the matter.
.@SecPompeo’s participation in the #RNCConvention during the course of official @StateDept work is not only unacceptable, but appears that it may also be illegal.
I’ve launched a @HouseForeign investigation. https://t.co/tJ6nvTsJsw
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) August 25, 2020
This is all nonsense from several aspects. The only vulnerability that Pompeo has under the Hatch Act, as a cabinet secretary, is if it was revealed that he was at an official event when he made the remarks. That, oddly enough, is exactly what happened to Raul’s twin brother Fidel during the 2016 campaign when he used an official speech as the venue to encourage people to vote for Hillary Clinton. But back in 20102, Politico wrote a fawning article about how Obama was using his cabinet secretaries to further his campaign.
If the Office of Special Counsel, the office charged with enforcing the Hatch Act, did find Pompeo was in violation of the law, it doesn’t have the authority to do much more that get all pouty-face as the decision on what, if anything, will be done would be made by the president.
This is not to say that Pompeo’s involvment is without some risk. He has issued a State Department policy which says that even officials with Senate confirmation cannot even attend a political conventiuon.
Here you go. This is from July, 2020. Pompeo on the Hatch Act. Irony is dead. #RNCConvention2020 pic.twitter.com/ov16k5owry
— April (@speakout_april) August 26, 2020
The problem here, though, is one of atmospherics. It is Pompeo’s policy and he can easily exempt himself from his own policy. Should he? From a leadership perspective, no. Unless he’s decided that the State Department staff are so hostile to him and to the administration they are sworn to serve that he no longer cares about what they think.
And Susan Rice makes some good, if overblown, points here.
My interview on @MSNBC about why Pompeo RNC speech outrages diplomats, violates @StateDept rules and hurts U.S. foreign policy https://t.co/nxOafyDAWX
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) August 26, 2020
The bottomline, though, is that President Trump served notice that he is serious about winning an he will use every power available to him as president to make that happen. And that is a good thing.
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