Office of Special Counsel: Conway violated Hatch Act

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency tasked with enforcing the law, declared Conway in violation of the law two times past year, citing interviews she gave from White House grounds defending Trump's decision to back Roy Moore, who had been accused of sexual abuse, in the Alabama Senate race.

"The OSC submitted its report - which references interviews Conway participated in last fall with CNN's "New Day" program and Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program" - to President Donald Trump "for appropriate disciplinary action".

According to the OSC, in TV appearances on 20 November and 6 December, 2017, Conway "impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about the candidates in the Alabama special election", violating the Hatch Act.

The White House dismissed Tuesday's report.

Walter Shaub, the then-head of the Office of Government Ethics, criticized the president's decision at that time not to discipline Conway. He is strong on raising your taxes. Because she is a presidential appointee, it is up to Trump to decide what - if any - punishment she will receive. "In the second interview, she advocated for the defeat of one Senate candidate and the election of another candidate. He is awful for property owners". "He is bad for property owners", she said in a morning interview on Fox News.

"As we've said many times before, there was no collusion with the Trump campaign", she said, noting that Mr Nunberg had never worked at the White House.

The Hatch Act prohibits government employees, such as Conway, from influencing an election through their position in the administration. "Although the President and Vice President are exempt from the Hatch Act, their employees are not".

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In the CNN interview, Conway said Trump "wants Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate" and "the only endorsement that matters in this race is President Trump's".

"In both instances, Conway appeared in her official capacity".

In that interview, Chris Cuomo actually warned Conway to "be careful about the Hatch Act". The President must take swift and serious disciplinary action against Ms. Conway. The Office of White House Counsel responded instead, saying Conway's words "must be viewed through the prism of one whose job function was to provide commentary concerning the President's newsworthy reasoning for his position with respect to a nominee within his party, as well as the impact of the special election on his agenda".

Gidley said Conway's statements showed "her intention and desire to comply with the Hatch Act - as she twice declined to respond to the host's specific invitation to encourage Alabamians to vote for the Republican".

In February of previous year, she came under fire for violating a different ethics provision when she encouraged Americans to "go buy Ivanka's stuff", referring to Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, in an appearance on Fox & Friends.

No, it's the other Office of Special Counsel, not Robert Mueller, and it's not going to get anyone prosecuted either.

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