Former U.S. President Donald Trump could face other charges and even spend three years in prison for violating the Hatch Act, according to two legal experts.

Professor Claire Finkelstein of the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor Richard Painter of the University of Minnesota Law School noted that the Office Special Counsel's report adds to the case for a criminal investigation, according to an Independent report. Finkelstein and Painter both filed a Hatch Act criminal complaint against Trump with Justice Department's Public Integrity Division in October 2020.

The OSC report states that the office concluded that the Trump administration tacitly or expressly approved a series of Hatch Act violations committed within the period before the 2020 election. The professors said that Justice Department's failure to act on their complaint in October 2020 while Trump was still in office "was a lost opportunity." They added that if the department had acted on their complaint, it could be possible that the January 6 insurrection would not have occurred.

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Hatch Act Violation

Hatch Act is a law that seeks to help government functions nonpartisan. It is supposed to stop the federal government from affecting elections or going about its activities in a partisan manner, according to a KCRA report. The law applies to federal employees as well as state and local employees who work with federally funded programs.

An internal federal government watchdog agency, OSC, noted on its recent report that 13 senior administration officials violated the Hatch Act, according to a Business Insider report. The report states that OSC did find that several officials did violate the act, mainly by speaking about the 2020 presidential election in interviews with the media.

However, the hosting of last year's Republican National Convention on the grounds of the White House was not a violation of the Hatch Act. Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, said in a statement that the report confirms that there was nothing less than a systematic co-opting of the powers of the federal government to keep Trump in office. Bookbinder said that Trump had publicly defended an employee OSC found to have repeatedly violated the Hatch Act.

Meanwhile, a former Trump aide, Stephanie Grisham, said that White House insiders wore Hatch Act violations like "a badge of honor," according to another Independent report. Grisham, who was Trump's former press secretary, said that administration staffers viewed it as a "joke."

The former Trump aide added that Trump used to tell them that he was in charge of the Hatch Act and that they can say whatever they want to say. Grisham then commented on the 2022 election, saying it is more important than ever.

Bookbinder said that the report shows that there is a need to reform the law. The ethics president noted that Congress must act so that the same incident will not happen again.

CREW filed a Hatch Act complaint against White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki after she made a seeming endorsement for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe amid the Virginia gubernatorial race.

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Written by: Mary Webber

WATCH: At Least 13 Trump Officials Violated The Hatch Act While In Office - from MSNBC