I wrote earlier about the troubling answers from White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates regarding the cocaine found at the White House in the West Wing.

When he was asked if they would be transparent if they figured out who brought the cocaine into the White House, Bates’ response was disturbing, to say the least, when he wouldn’t commit to being transparent. He said that he would not “engage in hypotheticals.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, Bates was then asked about comments from former President Donald Trump regarding whether the cocaine might belong to either Joe or Hunter Biden and whether Bates would be willing to say that that was “not the case,” that the cocaine wasn’t theirs? You would think that should be the layup question of all time—“Of course, it isn’t theirs.” But Bates set tongues wagging when he wouldn’t say that. Not only that, his answer was just a terrible excuse.

I don’t have a response to that, because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act. What I will say is that I have noticed there does seem to be some increasing frustration coming from that corner in general, and I think it is probably rooted in the contrast between their substantive policy records.

If you can’t answer that question, one has to wonder why, especially when you give such a terrible excuse as the Hatch Act. Nothing from the Hatch Act prohibits you from saying, “It isn’t theirs.” But he couldn’t or wouldn’t say it. Are they saying if they answered yes or no, it would influence your vote? Then one would have to question what that answer was that they don’t want to give.

But Bates went ahead and attacked Trump’s record anyway, which may actually be a problem with the Hatch Act. So his excuse just didn’t make any sense.

Attorney Bradley P. Moss told Fox News Digital he is “candidly at a loss as to why Mr. Bates believes the Hatch Act is relevant with respect to addressing that question.”

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“I could envision other legitimate bases for declining to respond, such as respecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation, but references to the Hatch Act seem misplaced,” Moss continued.

Former Bush administration ethics chief Richard Painter, who ran for Congress as a Democrat last cycle, told Fox News Digital that he has “given lectures at the White House” and published articles on the Hatch Act, but the bill “does not cover snorting cocaine.”

What the —— does the Hatch Act have to do with cocaine?” Painter told Fox News Digital in an email. “This is the most ridiculous invocation of the Hatch act I’ve ever heard.”

Painter added that even if someone on Biden’s campaign were “high as a kite,” the Hatch Act would not cover the cocaine in question.

Others pointed out how hollow this diversion tactic was, particularly given that they have no problem saying “Mega MAGA,” which has already been determined to be a violation of the Hatch Act. So it’s not like they give a darn about respecting it now.

But perhaps the worst response was from Chris Jackson, a Democratic official who posted a longer clip of what Bates said as he continued to attack Trump’s policies even while acting in his capacity as the White House Deputy Press Secretary.

I don’t think they understand the Hatch Act when they post stuff like this. The more Bates attacks the opposing candidate, the more he trips the question of the Hatch Act. Way to make things worse for Bates with this clip.

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