Natarajan Subramanian is an auditor for the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, an independent government agency charged with overseeing the federal budget. Subramanian is also the latest government worker to be caught on film by undercover journalist James O’Keefe. O’Keefe has been releasing a series called “Deep State” which, he says, exposes government employees who are trying to bring down the Trump administration from the inside.
You can watch the Project Veritas video about Subramanian here.
Here’s what you need to know about Natarajan Subramanian:
1. The Government Accountability Office Says It’s Investigating His Case
After O’Keefe released the video exposing Subramanian, the Government Accountability Office took notice. The office issued a statement on Twitter early Thursday morning, reading, “We are aware of the video and investigating the serious issues it raises, and we have also communicated with the GAO Inspector General.”
The video shows Subramanian talking about how he does “DSA stuff” while he’s at work and admitting that he often spends up to six hours a day working on “DSA social media.” DSA is the political party known as the Democratic Socialists of America. Subramanian, a member of DSA, also acknowledged that it is technically against the rules for him to work on DSA projects while he is at work.
2. Subramanian Joined DSA in 2017
The Democratic Socialist of America experienced a major growth last year; the party says its DC branch alone grew by about 500 percent between 2016 and 2017. Subramanian was one of the hundreds of DC residents who joined the party in 2017.
He told DCist that he had joined the Socialist movement after deciding that the existing “party system was not suited to address my needs.” He made that decision after the election of the DNC party chair.
3. Subramanian Admits He Was ‘Purposely Vague’ About His DSA Activities at Work
Subramanian admitted to Project Veritas that it isn’t exactly legal for him to spend so much time working on social media for DSA while he is at work. Subramanian is an auditor for the Government Accountability Office. As a government worker, he is not permitted to engage in political activity while he is at work.
So, Subramanian says, he is “purposely a little bit vague” when he talks to supervisors about his use of time. He said he told his supervisors that he is involved with a “social issues” group — but did not tell them that the group is actually the Democratic Socialist of America. And, Subramanian said, he never would admit to his supervisors that he spends his work hours on DSA projects. Instead, he said, he’s developed a few work-arounds so that he can juggle DSA projects and government work.
He uses his phone — not his computer — to do his DSA work. And he does some of his government work ahead of time, in a blitz, so that he can make extra time for his DSA projects in the day time.
4. The Justice Department Is Investigating Another Employee Caught in a Project Veritas Film
Allison Hrabar is a paralegal working for the Department of Justice. She was caught on tape in an earlier Project Veritas film, talking about her own work with the Democratic Socialists of America.
Hrabar implied that she had used her work computer to run a lobbyist’s license plate so that she could find his address. She needed his address to plan a protest, at the lobbyist’s home, against a private prison company.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it was investigating whether Hrabar violated any rules. The statement read, in part, “department policy prohibits misuse of government resources to advance personal interests. We are looking into this immediately and have referred this matter to the Inspector General as well.”
5. O’Keefe Says Government Workers May Be Violating the Hatch Act
Subramanian is not the first DSA member to be caught in a James O’Keefe film. Just a few days ago, Project Veritas released a video of Stuart Karaffa, an employee at the State Department who said he spends his entire working day focusing on his DSA projects. O’Keefe has pointed out that this may be a violation of the Hatch Act, which was written to limit government workers’ involvement in politics.
The Hatch Act says, among other things, that a government employee:
“May not engage in political activity while on duty, in the workplace, wearing a uniform or official insignia, or in a government vehicle. For example:
o May not wear, display, or distribute partisan
materials or items.
o May not perform campaign-related chores.
o May not make political contributions.
o May not use email or social media to engage in
You can read more about the Hatch Act here.