The Biden White House’s official fact sheet for its trillion-dollar infrastructure plan linked directly to a page on Joe Biden's campaign website, an apparent ethics violation.
The fact sheet posted on WhiteHouse.gov directed readers to the "Climate Plan" section on Biden's website, which includes multiple prompts for political contributions. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R., Ind.), who first flagged the political link on Thursday, sent a letter to the Office of Special Counsel calling for an immediate investigation. The link potentially violates the Hatch Act, which bans federal officials from using their official positions to engage in partisan activity.
"This prohibition extends to soliciting campaign donations and posting a link to the website of a partisan candidate leading directly to a donation or contribution page," Spartz said in the letter, pointing to Biden's donation prompts and call to "defeat Republicans across the country."
The White House acknowledged Spartz's complaint on Thursday and said the link's inclusion was an error. "The link was in error—we think an errant copy/paste—and that's our mistake," said Biden director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty, who during the Trump administration said the White House was run by Nazis.
Archived versions of the site show that the alleged violation was in place since the site was first published on March 31. The link was removed from the White House website.
Kendra Arnold, the executive director of the government watchdog Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, said the White House's linking to Biden's campaign website is a clear example of "using government property for personal or political purposes," which is "prohibited activity."
"The law forbids any elected official, including the president, from using government property for personal or political purposes," Arnold said, adding that such actions "erode the citizens' trust in government."