The Office of Special Counsel on Thursday urged Donald Trump to remove Kellyanne Conway as White House counselor over repeated violations of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in elections in their official capacity.
“The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) calls on President Donald J. Trump to remove Ms. Conway from her federal position immediately,” the agency wrote in a letter to the White House.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from using their office to campaign for or against political candidates. The president and vice president are exempt from the Hatch Act, employees of the White House are not.
The Office of Special Counsel’s letter refers to Conway as a “repeat offender” for repeatedly 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 letter said.
In a March report, the Office of Special Counsel found two violations over the course of two TV interviews during which Conway advocated for and against candidates in the 2017 Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.
The Office of Special Counsel also notes that Conway “downplayed the significance of the law as applied to her” during a May 29 interview.
When asked about the Hatch Act, she stated, “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.”
— Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) June 13, 2019