Office of Special Counsel opens case file over Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's sock tweet

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is the subject of a new case file from the US Office of Special Counsel after potentially violating the Hatch Act.

CNN reports OSC has opened a case file after Zinke shared a photo on Twitter, donning socks bearing President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

In the now-deleted tweet from late June, he wrote, “Breaking in new socks on a hike with the governors today.”

OSC received a complaint from a government watchdog called Campaign for Accountability, which called Zinke’s tweet a “clear violation” of the Hatch Act.

Agency spokesperson Zachary Kurz told CNN on Monday, "I can confirm that OSC received the complaint and has opened a case file. However, I'm unable to comment on or confirm whether an investigation has been opened.”

After deleting the post, Zinke later shared the image again — this time blacking out “Make America Great Again” — and apologizing, saying he had not realized “it had what could be viewed as a political slogan.”

However, that tweet has since been removed as well.

According to a March memo from OSC, the Hatch Act “prohibits federal employees from engaging in activity directed at the success or failure of the President’s candidacy while they are on duty or in the workplace.”

It also specifically states, quote: “…while on duty or in the workplace, employees may not: wear, display, or distribute items with the slogan “Make America Great Again” or any other materials from President Trump’s 2016 or 2020 campaigns…”