DOJ Watchdog investigates Soros-backed U.S. lawyer for ethics violation

Rachael Rollins may have broken rules banning government employees from political activism and outside payments

Then-Suffolk County, Mass., DA Rachael Rollins in 2021/Twitter screenshot

Josh Christenson • November 8, 2022 4:20 p.m.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is investigating a US lawyer backed by George Soros for violating federal ethics laws that prohibit government employees from engaging in political activism and accepting payments from outside groups , reported the Associated Press on Monday.

Rachael Rollins, the US attorney from Massachusetts, attended a Democratic National Committee event with first lady Jill Biden in a suburb of Boston last summer. Rollins likely violated the Hatch Act, which bars government employees from engaging in political activism. Rollins also attended a posh gathering in Hollywood in June at the expense of a talent agency, a potential breach of ethics.

The Senate in December 2021 voted to confirm Rollins along party lines following a contentious hearing. Republicans opposed his confirmation on the grounds that Rollins refused to prosecute crimes such as drug trafficking, theft and destruction of property. She worked closely with a group that pushes to defund the police.

A Boston Herald The June fundraiser reporter asked Rollins if her attendance violated the Hatch Act, and she claimed it didn’t. Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) in July asked Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate Rollins for his “flagrant violation” of the Hatch Act.

Creative Artists Agency, a Hollywood talent agency, paid Rollins to speak at its annual gathering in California. The Department of Justice prohibits employees from accepting payments for travel.

The Associated Press also said investigators obtained phone data from Rollins and some of his employees as part of the investigation. Rollins allegedly used his personal phone for some federal business, raising security concerns.

A spokeswoman for Rollins confirmed to The Associated Press that their office is “fully cooperating with the [inspector general’s] investigation.” Another watchdog agency, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, opened an investigation into Rollins in August following the fundraiser.

The Democratic Massachusetts attorney general has opened an investigation into Rollins after she pulled over and threatened to issue a ticket to a motorist she says cut her off in traffic. When a reporter asked her about the incident last year, Rollins threatened to call the police.

“I’m going to call the police on you and make an allegation and we’ll see how it works out with you,” Rollins said. She was later cleared by the attorney general’s office and a state ethics commission.