Watchdog groups told the Washington Examiner that Department of Homeland Security official Jen Easterly could have violated federal law when she endorsed a reporter's book.
Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, appeared to tweet out an endorsement of Wired reporter Andy Greenberg's new book "Tracers in the Dark" on Tuesday before quickly deleting it.
"This book was SOOO good. Thanks @a_greenberg for another highly compelling, entertaining, and illuminating read!" Easterly tweeted with the tag "Hot take."
Protect the Public's Trust Director Michael Chamberlain insisted that the tweet "was a pretty resounding endorsement of the book," which could serve as an ethics violation if pursued further.
"This restriction was really drilled into our heads when I served in government," Chamberlain, who once served in the Department of Education, told the Examiner.
"Obtaining the stamp of approval from an agency or prominent leader in the federal government would definitely deliver an unfair advantage. It's more than a little ironic that someone in charge of policing the speech of Americans could be so careless with her own social media statements."
Functional Government Initiative spokesman Pete McGinnis parroted Chamberlain's concerns to the outlet, declaring that the tweet "appears to be a clear violation of ethics requirements."
"She actively promoted a product on a social media account where she lists her official government title," McGinnis added. "Given how much time CISA spends monitoring what Americans post on Twitter, you'd think she'd be aware of these rules."
Easterly was nominated for CISA head by President Joe Biden in April 2021, having previously been employed at financial services giant Morgan Stanley. Senators confirmed her unanimously for the role two months later.
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