House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday for shredding American norms – and violating his own State Department rules – by delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Pelosi called Pompeo’s move “appalling” and said a partisan speech from a sitting Secretary of State would be a violation of the law.
“It’s appalling. They should not be engaged in any partisan activities,” Pelosi said. “I don’t know what he’s going to say, but whatever it is, it would be a violation of the law if they were to engage in partisan activities.”
Of course, the very act of delivering a speech at the RNC in support of Donald Trump is partisan conduct. What’s worse is that Pompeo taped the speech during official State Department business in Israel.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 25, 2020
At the end of last year, the State Department released a memo updating its guidelines on combining politics with official diplomatic business, which Pompeo’s RNC speech would blatantly violate.
“The Department has a long-standing policy of limiting participation in partisan campaigns by its political appointees in recognition of the need for the U.S. Government to speak with one voice on foreign policy matters,” the memo stated. “The combination of Department policy and Hatch Act requirements effectively bars you from engaging in partisan political activities while on duty, and, in many circumstances, even when you are off duty.”
Pompeo’s conduct is now under investigation
Democrats are not taking Mike Pompeo’s partisan RNC speech lightly as the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee opened an investigation on Tuesday.
“It is highly unusual, and likely unprecedented, for a sitting Secretary of State to speak at a partisan convention for either of the political parties,” said committee chairman Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) in a letter to Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. “It appears that it may also be illegal.”
With Donald Trump’s unprecedented and disturbing use of the White House as the backdrop for this week’s convention, it’s no surprise that his Secretary of State would ignore the law and take a sledgehammer to American values in order to pledge allegiance to the president.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.