Lawmakers Request Special Counsel Investigate FCC Commissioners' CPAC Appearance
House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA) sent a letter to the Office of Special Counsel requesting an investigation into all three Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioners regarding their involvement with the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
In March, Reps Pallone and Doyle asked the Republican Commissioners about their decision to attend CPAC, including whether they sought advice from FCC ethics officials before participating in CPAC and allowing organizers to use their names and photos to promote the event. However, the Republican Commissioners declined to respond directly and instead the FCC General Counsel replied in a letter that was both non-responsive and appeared to misunderstand the Hatch Act.
Reps Pallone and Doyle note that the General Counsel’s letter was insufficient for three reasons. First, it was legally misleading because the General Counsel selectively quoted sections of the Special Counsel’s Hatch Act guidance, leaving out sections directly relevant to the Commissioners’ actions. Second, it was factually misleading in its failure to mention that Commissioner O’Rielly made prohibited partisan political remarks. Third, the letter was incomplete because it failed to address a number of the questions from Reps Pallone and Doyle, and provided no documentary evidence supporting its assertions.
Lawmakers Request Special Counsel Investigate FCC Commissioners' CPAC Appearance House Dems Push For Further Investigation into FCC CPAC Appearances (B&C) House Dems urge investigation into FCC commissioners' CPAC appearance (The Hill)