Hatch Act of 1939

The Hatch Act of 1939, officially an Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, is a United States federal law whose main provision prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials of that branch, from engaging in some forms of political activity. The law was named for Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico. It was most recently amended in 2012.

On October 28 2016, 11 days before a Presidential election, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to members of Congress informing them of the discovery of a potentially new stash of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails, prior to those emails being reviewed. The letter was sent despite verbal guidance from the DOJ advising against it. Mr. Comey is currently the subject of a complaint filed with the DOE for his potential violation of the Hatch Act.