Oversight Committee Presses for Documents on Effort to Address OSC Findings of Abuses at the White House Office of Political Affairs

Published: Feb 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sent a letter to the head of U.S. Office Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner demanding documents about how the White House engaged the Office of the Special Counsel in efforts to address concerns about the inappropriate use of the newly revived office for campaign related efforts.

“Reestablishing OPA raises serious concerns about the illegal use of taxpayer funds to support congressional campaigns during the 2014 midterm elections,” said Issa in the letter.  “The reasoning behind the Obama White House reopening OPA is particularly troubling,” the letter continues.  “An ‘overtly partisan’ office in the White House that coordinates with congressional candidates seems to be precisely the type of ‘political boiler-room’ prohibited by the Hatch Act.  In fact, OSC wrote in its Hatch Act report that ‘strategically supplying targeted candidates with administration support to secure electoral gains’ violates the Hatch Act.”

The letter asks for, “All documents and communications, including e-mails, between OSC and the White House referring or relating to the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach or the reopening of the Office of Political Affairs.”

Republican and Democratic Members of Congress have previously called for the elimination of the White House Office of Political Affairs.

Click here to read the letter to Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner.

Click here for the 2011 Office of Special Counsel report concluding that the White House Office of Political Affairs unlawfully used taxpayer funds for political purposes.