The Department of Justice's inspector general is investigating a George Soros-backed U.S. attorney for violating federal ethics laws that bar government employees from political activism and accepting payments from outside groups, the Associated Press reported on Monday.
Rachael Rollins, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, attended a Democratic National Committee event featuring first lady Jill Biden in a Boston suburb last summer. Rollins likely violated the Hatch Act, which precludes government employees from political activism. Rollins also attended a swanky Hollywood gathering in June on a talent agency's dime, a potential ethics violation.
The Senate in December 2021 voted to confirm Rollins along party lines following a contentious hearing. Republicans opposed her confirmation on the grounds that Rollins refused to prosecute crimes such as drug dealing, theft, and property destruction. She has worked closely with a group pushing to defund police.
A Boston Herald reporter at the June fundraiser asked Rollins if her attendance violated the Hatch Act, and she claimed it did not. Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) in July requested Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate Rollins for her "blatant violation" of the Hatch Act.
Creative Artists Agency, a Hollywood talent agency, paid for Rollins to speak at its annual gathering in California. The Justice Department bars employees from accepting payments for travel.
The Associated Press also said investigators have obtained phone data from Rollins and some of her employees as part of the probe. Rollins reportedly used her personal phone for some federal casework, which raises security issues.
A spokeswoman for Rollins confirmed to the Associated Press that their office is "fully cooperating with the [inspector general's] investigation." Another watchdog agency, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, opened an investigation on Rollins in August following the fundraiser.
Massachusetts's Democratic attorney general opened an investigation into Rollins after she pulled over and threatened to issue a traffic citation to a motorist who she claimed cut her off in traffic. When a reporter last year asked her about the incident, Rollins threatened to call the police.
"I'll call the police on you and make an allegation and we'll see how that works with you," Rollins said. She was later cleared of wrongdoing by the attorney general's office and a state ethics commission.