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Breaking News: Arrest Made In Suspicious Westchester Death

Westchester's Scavino, Trump Aide Accused Of Violating Federal Law

Dan Scavino
Dan Scavino Photo Credit: Sam Barron

This story has been updated

A tweet by President Donald Trump's social media director Dan Scavino, a Hudson Valley native, might have gone too far according to lawyers from two presidential administrators.

Scavino, a Yorktown native who lives in Hopewell Junctio, is accused of violating the Hatch Act after telling voters to defeat Michigan congressman Justin Amash in a primary.

The Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees from engaging in political activity on social media while on duty or in the workplace.

"Donald Trump is bringing auto plants and jobs back to Michigan," Scavino tweeted on his personal account. "Justin Amash is a big liability. Trump Train, defeat him in primary."

Employees can express their opinions about partisan groups or candidates from their personal accounts, according to the Office of the Special Counsel.

Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, said Scavino should be fired.

"This is use of official position to influence an election," Painter tweeted. "Bush White House would have fired him. Ethics 101- You can't put official titles and White House photos all over your "personal" Twitter page and use it for partisan politics. No ethics in this White House.

Daniel Jacobson, a lawyer during Obama's administration also said Scavino violated the Hatch Act.

"White House staff can't use an official or de facto govt Twitter account (which this is) to call for defeat of a candidate," Jacobson said. "De facto means that if you tweet only about White House work from your account, it's an official account. Labeling "personal" doesn't change that."

According to NBC News, Scavino recently changed his biography on his personal account. It previously said:  Personal Twitter Handle when Director of #SocialMedia & Senior Advisor at Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Official White House @Scavino45. #MAGA and now says: "Personal Twitter Handle. 6/2015-11/2016, Director of #SocialMedia & Senior Advisor @realDonaldTrump. Official White House Twitter Handle: @Scavino45.

Scavino seemed to dismiss the accusations on his Twitter account Sunday afternoon.

"What 'ethics lawyers?' " Scavino tweeted. "The ones from the Obama Admin who want to take Trump down, or the Bush Admin who were #NeverTrump? No thanks!"

Scavino started working for Trump at 16 as a caddie at Trump National in Briarcliff, later becoming executive vice president and general manager. He was Social Media Director for Trump's presidential campaign.

In late February, Fox News Sunday tabbed Scavino as its "Power Player of the Week." For more on that, click here.

Trump, who owns an estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor.

The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.

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