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5 Wednesday, August 14, 2019 05:04

Federal workers sue to criticize politicians

The largest union of federal workers on Tuesday announced its suing the U.S. government in a bid to get it to drop its rules restricting workers from criticizing President Donald Trump or other political candidates.Interested in Trump Administration?Add Trump Administration as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Trump Administration news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Trump AdministrationAdd InterestThe American Federation of Government Employees, which represents some 700,000 federal workers, said it was concerned that the latest guidance restricted free speech and could be weaponized by politically motivated managers, including those seeking to punish people who express support for the president.


Bill OLeary/The Washington Post/Getty Images Cox Sr. National President of the American Federation of Government Employees, addresses union members and Congressional leadership during a rally for wage increases on Feb., 9, 2016, in Washington, D.C.Last fall, the federal governments top legal counsel, the Office of Special Counsel, or OSC -- which is not related to former special counsel Robert Mueller -- warned federal workers not to call for a politicians impeachment or to lobby openly for any particular candidate.

(MORE: Memos to federal workers: Leave that #ResistTrump coffee mug at home)AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said, OSCs vague, overbroad guidance creates an opening for managers and political appointees to go after career civil servants for politically-motivated reasons.Trumps supporters have alleged that the presidents agenda is being undermined by federal workers who are part of a Deep State.

Trump has tweeted about such a conspiracy, specifically alleging that the FBI could be part of a conspiracy working against him.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesCounselor to President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway talks to reporters outside the White House on May 01, 2019, in Washington.Several senior White House and administration officials have received warnings from the OSC of violations, including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, former U.

S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. The Hatch Act is a decades-old law aimed at preventing federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities. It does not apply to the president or vice president.(MORE: Kellyanne Conway found to have twice violated law banning use of office for political ends)(MORE: White House social media director reprimanded over political tweet)(MORE: Nikki Haley issued warning over political tweet violating Hatch Act)
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images, FILEPresident Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.

., to officially launch his 2020 campaign on June 18, 2019.In a November memo to the nations estimated two million workers, OSC said overt politicking at the office and online -- including the hashtag #Resist -- violates existing laws intended to keep.....


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