Deep State? “It’s Impossible to Fire Federal Employees.”

A video with a federal employee purportedly working as a “deep state” operative at the Department of State has been released.

How many times have employees in the federal government read this statement: “It is not possible to fire a federal employee!”?

“I have nothing to lose. It’s impossible to fire federal employees.”

Here is a new wrinkle. A new video (seen above) has been released by Project Veritas that purports to show the “deep state” is alive and well within the federal bureaucracy. In the video, an employee in the State Department can be seen in a video saying, among other things, “Resist everything… Every level” and “I have nothing to lose. It’s impossible to fire federal employees.”

Project Veritas has been involved in releasing previous controversial videos purporting to show improper actions by officials in various jobs in different levels of government and other organizations. Their latest project of videos of federal employees working against the administration, purportedly acting as a “deep state,” are now being released. This video from a Department of State employee is the first video released. The organization obviously has an agenda although the employee’s own words are likely to create career issues for him.

The statement about being impossible to a federal employee would not necessarily get a federal employee in trouble with his agency. But, as implied by his statement, there is more to the video than this one statement. Intentionally or not, he is certainly putting his belief that “I have nothing to lose. It’s impossible to fire federal employees” to a supreme test.

The employee in question is Stuart Karaffa. According to, he is employed at the Department of State as a Management and Program Analyst. His salary in 2017 as a GS-13 employee was $94,796—a little less than the average federal employee’s salary in the Washington, DC area.

Working for Democratic Socialists of America While at State Department

In addition to being a State Department employee, Karaffa is also a ranking member of the Metro DC Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. The organization calls for “a radical restructuring of our economic and political systems to value people over profits.”

In the video, Karaffa is sitting at a restaurant table talking to two undercover agents for Project Veritas. Karaffa discusses on the video doing his political activity at work for the Democratic Socialists and says on camera his goal is to “f*k sh*t up.”

He says he waits until his work shift ends at 5:30 PM before sending out email on behalf of the Democratic Socialists. “… I’m careful about it. I don’t leave a paper trail, like I leave emails, and like any press sh*t that comes up I leave that until after 5:30; But as soon as 5:31 hits, got my like draft messages ready to send out.”

Tweets from his twitter account @stuartkaraffa are protected but notes “I’m an eight-year DC resident, Mount Pleasant Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (1D05), @demsocialists, union member, and advocate for equitable urban policy.” No mention is made of his job with the Department of State on his public profile.

Accessing State of Virginia Political News at Work

Karaffa says on the video that he works on behalf of DSA to monitor State of Virginia political news online while at work:

You could put two and two together probably. With like web traffic…. So with web traffic, I mean I could make the case before a court of law that—I’m going to the Virginia sort of, campaign finance website—that I’m just interested in what people are doing politically. But if they also go and look at like DSA minutes and like Officer positions they’ll be like, ‘that’s weird, you were the co-chair of the electoral caucus, and you spent three hours on a Virginia campaign finance website.’

Rubber-Stamping Financial Disclosure Forms

Many federal employees are required to submit disclosure forms to help their agency identify potential conflicts of interest that may interfere with their job as a federal employee. While Karaffa says he disclosed his political activities and officer positions on the financial disclosure ethics form: “… somebody just rubber stamps [the form] and it goes forward… I don’t know if [the ethics officer is] all there. He’s so checked out…”

Probably as a result of this belief, he does not express concern about being fired or otherwise subjected to disciplinary action. Karaffa says “nobody knows” about his political activities despite the financial disclosure forms. “Maybe someday I’ll go to board of elections jail, probably not.”

A Department of State spokesman said in a statement: “I can confirm that Stuart Karaffa is a Management and Program Analyst with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. We take seriously any allegation of a violation of the Hatch Act and financial disclosure rules and are closely reviewing this matter.”

Apparently more videos featuring federal employees purportedly working for the “deep state” will be released soon. No doubt, as a result of some of these videos, there is likely to be a test of the belief held by some that “it is impossible to fire a federal employee.”

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47