Kellyanne Conway Should Be Fired For Violating Ethics Law, Oversight Office Says

Clay Curtis
June 13, 2019

A USA government watchdog agency on Thursday recommended Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, be fired for repeatedly violating US law with political comments while serving in the White House.

The special counsel report details numerous times Ms Conway, identified as a senior White House employee, made disparaging comments about Democratic presidential candidates and boosted Mr Trump's re-election efforts.

It is a separate agency than the office run by now-former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who led the investigation into Russian interference.

Conway in the past had scoffed at charges that she violated the hatch Act, which prevents executive branch employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on the job.

Kerner, who polices federal employees who drift into politics, wrote a letter to President Trump advising him that Ms. Conway's "disregard" for the law is palpable.

She now is leading White House efforts on reducing deaths by opioids and Trump likely would be loathe to have her leave the White House right when he is cranking up his re-election campaign.

The White House was quick to defend Conway and reject OSC's recommendation to fire her.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are exempt from the Hatch Act but White House employees are not.

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"Because Kellyanne Conway is a presidential appointee, the Office of Special Counsel itself does not have authority to discipline her", said Daniel Jacobson, who worked at the White House Counsel's Office under President Obama advising on ethics and compliance matters.

The agency described one episode in which she appears to shrug off the Hatch Act, saying "if you're trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it's not going to work", and "let me know when the jail sentence starts".

The president, vice-president and some other high level officials are not bound by the 1939 Hatch Act.

'I was just standing in an office in the WH press office when Kellyanne Conway came in.

White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves said in a statement that the OSC's actions are "deeply flawed".

"She'll do the shows that nobody else dares go near", Trump said in a speech last spring praising her. She pointed to the door and said 'can you leave, please?' Later, I asked her again, and she said: 'I have no reaction. "Its decisions seem to be influenced by media pressure and liberal organizations, and perhaps OSC should be mindful of its own mandate to act in a fair, impartial, nonpolitical manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act".

The letter comes after a March 2018 report in which the OSC detailed a series of violations that occurred over the course of two television interviews wherein Conway openly advocated for disgraced Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and disparaged his ultimately victorious opponent, Democrat Doug Jones.

The OSC recommends Kelly "be removed from federal service".

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