The House Oversight Committee plans to vote on Wednesday whether to subpoena Kellyanne Conway following a government watchdog’s finding that said she violated the Hatch Act.
In a memo sent to the White House, the committee said it “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 memo continued: “The Committee also will hold a business meeting to consider a subpoena in the event that Ms. Conway does not appear.”
The OSC recommended earlier in June that the White House counselor be fired from the federal government for violating the Hatch Act on “numerous occasions.” The Hatch Act is a federal law that limits certain political activities of federal employees.
The OSC who are separate from the office with a similar name previously run by Robert Mueller, said in a report that Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.
“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law,” the OSC said in a statement, noting that Conway has been a “repeat offender.”
The White House is standing by Conway – calling the OSC ruling “unprecedented” and suggesting it was politically influenced.
“The Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) unprecedented actions against Kellyanne Conway are deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process. Others, of all political views, have objected to the OSC’s unclear and unevenly applied rules which have a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves said in a statement.
Groves added: “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, non-political manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act.”
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