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House Committee Investigating Whether Pompeo’s RNC Speech Violated Law

House Committee Investigating Whether Pompeo’s RNC Speech Violated Law

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, spoke from Jerusalem to the Republican convention supporting President Donald Trump's reelection, an unusual if not unprecedented act that has triggered a congressional investigation.

A House panel said Tuesday it will investigate Pompeo's actions to determine if he is breaking the law, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) announced.

Eliot said that apart from the cable, a December 2019 memorandum from the State Department Office of the Legal Adviser said "Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event".

Beyond the legal fight over the personal or official, the speech ignited swift criticism of Pompeo, who, as the nation's top diplomat, put himself in the middle of partisan politics, further incinerating the old adage that politics stop at the water's edge.

The address was roundly condemned by Democrats and others as an inappropriate breach of decades of diplomatic precedent and a possible violation of federal law prohibiting executive branch employees from overt political activism while on duty.

Former State Department career officer Linda Thomas-Greenfield told NBC that "Pompeo is clearly ensuring the State Department is politicized by using his position to carry out what is basically a partisan mission".

"Delivering on this duty to keep us safe and our freedoms intact, this president has led bold initiatives in almost every corner of the world", Pompeo said, diving into specific policies without mentioning his role in them.

The Hatch Act prohibits federal officials from participating in political activity while on official duty.

Earlier in the day, a State Department official told the pool reporter traveling with Pompeo on behalf of the USA media that he would speak to the convention in his personal capacity. The GOP formally renominated President Donald Trump as its 2020 candidate on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the Libyan conflict and countering Iranian regional influence with his Emirati counterpart during a brief visit to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

Ryan Costello, policy director at the National Iranian American Council, tweeted late Tuesday that it's "funny that Mike Pompeo broke his own ethics rules to remind everyone he is both uninspiring and untethered to reality". "The State Department will not bear any costs in conjunction with this appearance".

Critics said that Pompeo's upcoming remarks break the tradition of keeping the chief U.S. diplomat out of the party politics, reports Xinhua news agency.

US first lady Melania Trump portrayed her husband as an authentic, uncompromising leader in a Rose Garden address Tuesday night as US President Donald Trump turned to family, farmers and the trappings of the presidency to boost his reelection chances on the second night of the scaled-down Republican National Convention. "It is crucial to bear in mind that in order to prevent any confusion or misperception in this regard, the Department's longstanding policy is that USA citizen employees and family users might not interact in partisan political action when posted or on (short term obligation journey) overseas, even on personalized time", he mentioned.

On another foreign policy facet of Trump, Senator Rand Paul said that he was the first president in a generation to not start a war overseas and is committed to ending wars.

The person close to Pompeo said the short address would focus on Trump's accomplishments in making Americans and the world safer and promoting his "America First" foreign policy.

Pompeo has served as Secretary of State since April 2018, after serving as Central Intelligence Agency director from 2017 to 2018.

"I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation", Trump said while speaking to pandemic.

She said that he is an "authentic person".

The Trump Administration is playing up moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is likely to be part of why it was chosen as a location for the speech.

Last month, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the President receives multiple coronavirus tests every day.