FACT Files A Complaint Against Rep. Wiley Nickel For His Use of Social Media
Rep. Nickel appears to have abused official resources for political purposes and violated House rules
Washington, D.C.— April 5, 2023— Yesterday, the non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigate Congressman Wiley Nickel of North Carolina, to determine whether he has used a social media account (TikTok) in violation of House rules and abused official resources for political purposes.
TikTok, a social media company owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has come under scrutiny on Capitol Hill and by the Biden Administration due to data privacy and national security concerns given its symbiotic relationship with the Chinese Community Party. As such, TikTok is now banned from all official federal government devices.
Despite this ban, Rep. Nickel continues to use the same TikTok account for both official and campaign purposes, a blatant violation of House Ethics rules.
Rep. Nickel’s TikTok, which describes him as the “Congressman for # NC13” and links to his campaign website, includes both campaign content (campaign events and interviews) and official content (video filmed in the Capitol and interviews filmed in a House Office Building), which are impermissible uses of official resources for political purposes.
“These violations reveal a complete disregard for the clear and longstanding prohibition of using official resources for political purposes. Complying with the law and House Ethics rules are a fundamental obligation for elected officials. The OCE must move swiftly to investigate and enforce these bright-line standards and apply the requisite penalty,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/