A federal government oversight office has called for the removal of Kellyanne Conway as President Donald Trump’s advisor and key mouthpiece.
The recommendation comes from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and is not related to related to Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election. The office sent a letter to Trump’s office Thursday saying Conway violated the Hatch Act numerous times by criticizing 2020 Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during TV interviews and on social media, Politico reported Thursday.
“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,” the letter reads. “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”
The Hatch Act (originally known as An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities), which became law in 1939, says that staffers below the policy-making level in the executive branch must not take “any active part” in political campaigning.
The call for Conway’s removal represents the first time the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel has ever made such a recommendation about a White House official.
The White House’s response was what you might expect. Spokesman Steve Groves accused the Office of the Special Counsel of chilling free speech and “weaponizing” the Hatch Act against the White House.
Asked by reporters May 29 about her then-alleged Hatch Act violations, Conway responded: “Blah, blah, blah . . .”
The spokeswoman, who often communicates using “alternative facts,” is no stranger to controversy. After she publicly endorsed the products of Ivanka Trump’s company in 2017, both Democratic and Republican members of Congress called for an investigation into the possible ethics violation.
Conway’s official title is “counselor to the president.” She is a long-time Republican political strategist, pollster, and pundit. She was hired by the Trump campaign in August 2016 after originally working for the Ted Cruz campaign during the primaries.