Trump trade advisor broke law with Biden attacks, watchdog finds

Report says Dr Peter Navarro violated the Hatch Act despite being aware of it  

Mayank Aggarwal
Tuesday 08 December 2020 09:22 GMT
White House economic adviser Dr Peter Navarro 
White House economic adviser Dr Peter Navarro  (AFP via Getty Images)

A federal US watchdog has found that the White House trade advisor Dr Peter Navarro repeatedly broke the law by attacking Joe Biden and Kamala Harris during the presidential elections.

The report by US Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent investigative agency, held that Dr Navarro “violated the Hatch Act on several occasions when he engaged in political activity in his official capacity” even when he was aware of the violations.

The Hatch Act allows prohibits employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including efforts to influence elections.

The report said that Dr Navarro violated the act by “using his official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of the 2020 presidential election through both media appearances and social media.”

Dr Navarro has been one of the most vocal defenders of Donald Trump. The report listed at least six occasions between May - October 2020 leading to elections on 3 November when during media interviews, where he was in his official capacity, “attacked presidential candidate Joe Biden and/or vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris.”

The report said that he attacked Joe Biden about his relationship with China and at times accused him of being “compromised” and susceptible to being “bought” by China, even calling him “Beijing Biden.”  

According to the report, he even argued that “a Biden presidency would be devastating to the US economy, and he disparaged vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, calling her a mouthpiece who cannot be taken seriously.”  

“Dr Navarro’s violations of the Hatch Act were knowing and willful. He committed these violations after having received training on the Hatch Act and, for most of the violations, while knowing that OSC was investigating him for engaging in the same prohibited political activity,” the report said.

It is not the first instance during the Trump presidency that employees have been accused of violating the Hatch Act. Several members of Mr Trump’s team including his daughter Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser to the president, have been accused of violating the Hatch Act.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in