EXCLUSIVE: Reps Comer, Norman Question OSC Over Ethics Investigation Into Biden’s Energy Secretary

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
Font Size:

Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer and Republican South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) requesting information on the investigation into Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s alleged Hatch Act violation.

Comer and Norman wrote to OSC Special Counsel Henry Kerner demanding answers related to the OSC investigation into Granholm’s October 2021 interview with Marie Claire magazine, according to the letter obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller.

OSC found that Granholm did violate the Hatch Act – which prohibits federal employees from participating in political speech or campaigning activities – when she promoted “the electoral success of the Democratic Party” in an Instagram Live with Marie Claire, according to the investigation report.

“The good news is that that marching and that voting gave Democrats a bare majority, but a majority, in the House in the Senate,” Granholm said in the interview. “And again, I am using Democrats as a substitute for the policies that you believe in, the policies that you would like to see happen. And what I say to people all the time is the most important thing you can do is make your voice heard. Vote!”

“Because Secretary Granholm engaged in activity directed at the success of the Democratic Party during an interview she gave in her official capacity — she violated the Hatch Act’s use of official authority prohibition,” the report said. OSC also noted that while Granholm violated the act, there was not enough evidence to indicate it was “a knowing

Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member Comer and Subcommittee on Environment Ranking Member Norman wrote that the investigation into Granholm uncovered several “troubling” issues that needed more answers than the OSC report gave. (RELATED: Office Of Special Counsel Says Biden Administration Official Committed Ethics Violation)

“The Secretary used her cabinet-level position to improperly advocate for the Democratic candidates,” the letter stated. “Just as troubling, OSC determined that the Secretary did not have sufficient Hatch Act training. Given the well documented ethical lapses by the Secretary, we have further questions about the Biden Administration’s commitment to ethical standards by senior-level political appointees.”

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — OSC Hatch Act Granholm Letter by Henry Rodgers on Scribd

Granholm’s insufficient Hatch Act training was “concerning” because “the Secretary has a history of skirting ethics laws, and [it] raises questions about whether cabinet-level officials are receiving appropriate training about ethical obligations,” the letter stated.

The congressmen requested OSC provide all documents related to any OSC investigation into Granholm’s Hatch Act violation and make arrangements to brief Republican Committee staff by July 19, according to the letter.

“Questionable ethics seems to be a recurring theme of Secretary Granholm’s tenure with this administration. It’s incumbent upon the Office of Special Counsel to provide its finding on this investigation to the Oversight Committee,” Norman told the Daily Caller.

The Daily Caller contacted the U.S. Department of Energy and Granholm’s office, but they did not respond before publication time.