The law might not mean much to Donald Trump and the people in his administration, but it turns out that it means quite a bit to the Office of the Special Counsel and the House Oversight Committee. After the government ethics watchdog group recommended Conway’s firing after she repeatedly violated The Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using their platforms to promote political candidates or weighing in on politics, Trump has refused to do so. Now, the House Oversight Committee is stepping in.
— Márcio M. Silva (@marciojmsilva) June 23, 2019
On at least two occasions, Conway used her platform as a senior advisor to the White House to disparage political candidates, once during the 2018 midterm elections against Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore’ opponent, and once recently to attack Joe Biden. After the second violation, reporters questioned her about the incident, to which she replied, “blah blah blah, tell me when the jail sentence starts.”
A memo from the House Oversight Committee says a hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 26.
‘The Committee will hold a hearing to examine the recommendation of the independent Office of Special Counsel (OSC) that President Trump remove Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway from federal service, as well as reports by OSC about Ms. Conway and other Trump Administration appointees. The Committee also will hold a business meeting to consider a subpoena in the event that Ms. Conway does not appear.’
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel today sent a report to Trump finding that Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions.
OSC recommends that she be removed from federal service. https://t.co/3M53U5YYqf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 13, 2019
Although every federal employee is bound by the same rule, Conway insists that she personally is being attacked and silenced by The Hatch Act, which violates her right to free speech. The committee reminded its members exactly why that is a false statement and what the purpose of law is. Of course, “public confidence” in the Trump administration is long since destroyed, anyway, but Conway still has to follow the law.
‘While the Hatch Act allows federal employees to express their views about candidates and political issues as private citizens, it restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including by trying to influence partisan elections. In passing this law, Congress intended to promote public confidence in the Executive branch by ensuring the federal government is working for all Americans without regard to their political views.’
After attacking @JoeBiden she (ironically) says her concern is “people lying about their records” and accuses me of “trying to silence [her] with the Hatch Act.” When I again pointed out it was OSC who found she’d violated it, she said ”let me know when the jail sentence starts.” pic.twitter.com/Llnf0Z9Sot
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) June 13, 2019
In an interview, President Trump, who also doesn’t seem to understand what the law is or why it exists, backed Conway, saying that “they’re violating her speech.” He didn’t specify who “they” is, but apparently the people who wrote the law in 1939 are out to get Conway and everyone in the Trump administration.
The committee will also decide whether or not to subpoena Conway should she fail to appear at Wednesday’s hearing.
‘On June 13, 2019, Chairman Cummings and Chairman Connolly sent a letter inviting Ms. Conway to testify at the hearing. The letter invited Ms. Conway to address her “failure to comply with federal laws, including ethics laws and the Hatch Act,” and asked Ms. Conway to confirm her attendance by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019.6 Neither Ms. Conway nor the White House has responded to the Committee to accept or decline this invitation.’
Trump on govt. watchdog finding Kellyanne Conway repeatedly violated federal law:
“It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech”
Trump on the First Amendment-protected act of flag burning:
“All in … for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag” pic.twitter.com/6cSx4uSzDX
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) June 16, 2019
Featured image screenshot via YouTube