Obama official broke Hatch Act, GOP's Issa says - KCTV5

Obama official broke Hatch Act, GOP's Issa says

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Former labor secretary Hilda Solis broke the Hatch Act by asking a federal employee to aid a political campaign, a GOP House leader said.  (Source: CNN) Former labor secretary Hilda Solis broke the Hatch Act by asking a federal employee to aid a political campaign, a GOP House leader said. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - A top U.S. House Republican says he has proof a former Obama Cabinet member broke the law barring political activity on the job.

House GOP Chair Darrell Issa, R-CA, has what he believes is a smoking gun, and he unveiled it during a hearing in a dramatic fashion.

"Hi this is Hilda Solis calling. Just calling you off the record here," the tape said.

Audio of a 2012 voicemail message he says is the voice of then Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis heard asking an employee to contribute money and to recruit others to attend a fundraiser for the pro-Obama group Organizing for America.

"Wanted to ask you if you could, help us get folks organized to come to a fundraiser that we're doing for Organizing for America for Obama campaign on Friday...," the tape said.

...There are a lot of folks that we know that are coming but wanted to ask you if you might help contribute or get other folks to help out," the tape said.

Issa argues Solis broke the law, violating the Hatch Act which restricts federal employees' political activities like soliciting campaign donations while on the job.

The committee's top Democrat was quick to jump on Issa for what he considered a stunt.

"It is time for this committee to stop serving as a center stage for political theater and fulfill the responsibilities under the Constitution to conduct responsible oversight," said U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-MD.

A Republican source says Solis' voice message was left in March of 2012 as the president was gearing up for re-election. The U.S. office of Special Counsel, which enforces the Hatch Act, received a complaint about one month later and opened an investigation, but reached no conclusion before Solis left the Cabinet in 2013.

The White House won't comment on the audio, saying it's an ongoing investigation.

"This is a law enforcement investigation that was first reported back in January of this year. We weren't in a position to comment on that law enforcement investigation at that point, and I'm not in a position to comment on it today," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

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