Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a left-leaning organization, filed a complaint to the Office of Special Counsel for Psaki's comments on Thursday supporting Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor while giving a press briefing.
"The last administration systematically co-opted the government for the president's reelection. While this conduct does not come close to rising to the level of the outrageous offenses of the Trump administration, that does not mean we should be casual about compliance with an important ethics law," CREW president Noah Bookbinder announced in a statement.
The Hatch Act forbids executive branch employees from "us[ing their] official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election."
Psaki replied to a question asking if the Biden administration sees the Virginia gubernatorial race as an indicator of Democratic victory in 2022, stating, "We're going to do everything we can to help former Gov. McAuliffe, and we believe in the agenda he's representing."
CREW filed many complaints against members of the Trump administration, among them press secretaries Kayleigh McEnany and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The Hatch Act limitations, including prohibitions against endorsing candidates, apply to all federal employees except the president and vice president.
Throughout an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Psaki stated she should have been more careful with her words and not said that "we" backed McAuliffe.
"I take ethics seriously. So does this president, of course," she announced. "And I'll be more careful with my words next time. Words certainly matter."
Meanwhile, The White House dismissed concerns over tweets shared by one of President Joe Biden's closest advisers via his official account, describing the issue as a matter of personal speech.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain's Twitter habits are "not a top priority" for the Biden administration, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday. She announced Klain is talking "on his own accord," with staffers free to "tout points they find interesting."
"That's the purpose of public speech," Psaki continued. Klain's Twitter feed is scrutinized as a leading indicator of the Biden administration's key issues. So when Klain, a prolific Twitter user with over half a million followers, twice shared a tweet alleging the country's inflation, supply chain, and other economic woes apply to a narrow and privileged population, the outcry was swift.
The original tweet by economist Jason Furman called the economic strain "high-class problems." Furman, who chaired former President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, explained the difficulty was tempered by low unemployment.