Office of Special Counsel asked to Investigate Violations of the Hatch Act

On October 29 a complaint was filed against the F.B.I. with the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations, and with the Office of Governmental Ethics.  It was filed by Richard W. Painter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and the former chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, during the Bush administration.  He explains why he filed this complaint in an article in The New York Times.   Painter argues that, “the F.B.I.’s job is to investigate, not to influence the outcome of an election.”


As Roger Parloff reports in Fortune, between October 28th, the day Comey wrote his letter to congress and November 3, Clinton’s chances of winning Florida and North Carolina fell from 66% and 65% respectively to approximately 50% in each state according to the 538 website (9).  Clinton’s chances of winning Arizona, Iowa, and Ohio were 49%, 51%, and 50% respectively on October 28th; on November 3rd her chances had dropped to 71%, 72%, 67%.  The average decrease in her chances is between 15% and 20%.  Clinton ended up losing all of the states mentioned.  She won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College by 51 electoral votes.  If she had won Florida and North Carolina, she would have one the election with 272 electoral votes.



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