15:01 GMT +318 January 2020
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    An undercover investigation has revealed some of the ways a federal US employee breaks rules and potentially violate laws on the job. The government agency involved has launched an investigation into the “serious issues” raised by these practices.

    "Technically, everything I'm doing with DSA [Democratic Socialists of America] is stuff that I am not supposed to be doing for work. Like, it's explicitly prohibited. So like, if they find out, I could get in trouble basically," Government Accountability Office Auditor Natarajan Subramanian was recorded saying in an undercover sting conducted by Project Veritas.

    "The deep state is the nameless, faceless individuals in the various executive branches of government who are circumventing, or disregarding, the will of the voters, since the executive branch is elected by the people," said James O'Keefe, president of Project Veritas. O'Keefe spoke with Fault Lines on Radio Sputnik Thursday to discuss his latest findings.

    ​(The interview starts at 135:00.) 

    ​​"If you're in executive branch agency, you can slow-ball things to a degree, that it's, like, ineffective. And maybe you get in trouble, and maybe you get fired, or you resign or whatever, but, like, you slowed them down for a certain period of time," the auditor says in the video, which was released this week.

    The GAO is a governmental nonpartisan agency that is tasked with investigating how federal tax dollars are spent.

    Subramanian added that he has a friend who does contracting work for the Pentagon that is "very active" with the DSA, without delving into further detail.

    ​Government employees are allowed to have political affiliations and diverse views. However, they are prohibited from certain forms of political activism while they are at work. For instance, Lurita Alexis Doan, then the administrator of the General Services Administration, violated the Hatch Act in involving herself in schemes to help Republicans get elected, according to a 2007 report from the Office of Special Counsel. The history of these rules in the US goes back to 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from campaigning and influencing how other citizens vote.

    "We are aware of the [Project Veritas] video and investigating the serious issues it raises, and we have also communicated with the GAO Inspector General," the GAO said on Twitter Thursday.

    Subramanian "has been removed from any ongoing GAO work and cut off from access to GAO equipment," Chuck Young, managing director of public affairs for GAO, said in a second statement from the office Thursday afternoon. 

    ​"Congress has abdicated their responsibility by giving enormous amounts of power to these other agencies," O'Keefe said. "These people are not elected."

    For its part, the Democratic Socialists of America's DC chapter told The Hill Project Veritas' sting operation was "unethical."

    "This campaign, which wrongly targets both these dedicated public servants' freedom and their freedom to exercise their 1st amendment right, is just the latest in a long line of failed political attacks from a group desperate to remain relevant," DSA said in a statement to The Hill. 


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    sting operations, deep state, Project Veritas, GAO, Washington
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