Kellyanne Conway predicted her future.
On May 29, the outspoken conservative White House counselor was quoted as saying,
“If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work.”
The Hatch Act prohibits officials from trying to sway elections in one party’s favor, and it has been used by the Office of Special Counsel numerous times since President Trump stepped into office against members of his administration.
Today, the OSC sent President Trump a report that stated Kellyanne Conway repeatedly broke the law by criticizing Democrat presidential candidates.
What separates this incident from the others is that this time, the OSC urged Trump to terminate Conway – immediately.
Take a look at this breaking news that hit Twitter earlier today:
Trump and his administration are standing by Conway and her freedom of speech, refusing to punish her for what the OSC accused her of.
The White House seems to be of the opinion that it's just another case of the left trying to censor conservative voices ahead of 2020.
Politico has more details on the situation and the White House's reaction to the report:
The independent federal agency that oversees compliance with the Hatch Act has recommended that President Donald Trump's top aide Kellyanne Conway be removed from her job after she repeatedly used her office for political purposes.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to Trump on Thursday that said Conway violated the law numerous times by criticizing Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media. It is the first time the office, which is not affiliated with former special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation, has made such a recommendation for a White House official.
The office, which described Conway as a “repeat offender,” wrote: “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.”
Conway has not responded to a request for comment.
Previously, when asked about the issue in late May, she replied, "blah, blah, blah. ... If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts."
A senior administration official said the president had no plans to discipline or remove Conway and is standing behind her, while a spokesman criticized the Office of Special Counsel for kowtowing to liberal organizations.
“The Office of Special Counsel’s unprecedented actions against Kellyanne Conway are deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process," White House spokesman Steve Groves said. "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. 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.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced Thursday that he would hold a hearing June 26 with the Office of Special Counsel to discuss its findings and recommendation. Conway will be invited to attend.
Cummings, who called on Trump to fire Conway, said the White House has been withholding information about Conway's conduct from the committee for more than two years.
Conway walked away from reporters at the White House Thursday afternoon without responding to a question about whether she’ll testify.
POLITICO reported in May that the office has received a growing number of complaints since Trump took office about federal employees allegedly violating the Hatch Act. In Trump’s first year on the job, formal complaints to the government office that oversees compliance with the 80-year-old law jumped nearly 30 percent.
Watchdog groups say the rise in complaints reflects broader ethical lapses in the Trump administration, including staffers spending staggering amounts on travel, promoting the president’s businesses and failing to file legally required financial reports.
So far, the OSC has determined that at least 10 Trump senior officials violated the Hatch Act, according to a person at OSC familiar with the law. But in most cases, the office decided that the violation was minor enough to only merit a warning letter, not disciplinary action. Only one case has been sent to Trump for action. His predecessors faced similarly small numbers of cases.
The Hill also had the following to add:
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) sent a 17-page report to Trump accusing Conway of breaking the law on numerous occasions “by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media” and calling on the president to oust her “immediately.”
“As a highly visible member of the administration, 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,” special counsel Henry Kerner wrote to Trump. “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.”
The White House immediately rejected the office’s recommendation that Conway be fired, saying its findings are “deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process.” Trump has no plans to follow the recommendation or discipline Conway in any way, according to an administration official.
Under the law, the decision to remove Conway is up to Trump and not the OSC.
The independent agency, which is unrelated to former special counsel Robert Mueller of the Russia investigation, has never recommended that the White House fire an employee over Hatch Act violations. It said it did so with Conway because she is a “repeat offender” who has ignored the office’s requests to follow the law.
The unprecedented recommendation fueled House Democrats, who have launched wide-ranging investigations into the president’s administration. House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) announced Thursday he would hold a June 26 hearing with the OSC on its findings, at which Conway will be invited to testify.
White House spokesman Steven Groves accused the office of making a politically motivated decision to target Conway.
“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,” he said in a statement.
As for what Kellyanne Conway supposedly did to earn the recommendation by the OSC of removal from office, the Tennessean commented:
Conway's statements cited in the Office of Special Counsel's report disparaging Democratic presidential candidates began in February 2019. Her statements included:
- Calling Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., "sexist" and a "tinny" motivational speaker.
- Conway said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was "lying" about her ethnicity and "appropriating somebody else's heritage."
- Conway said of former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas that he didn't think "women running are good enough to be president."
- In an interview on "Fox and Friends" on Feb. 11, 2019, Conway said Trump had the "presidential timber" to be reelected, while Democrats were "a bunch of presidential woodchips."
- She then described several of the candidates, calling Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota as "a very nice person, I guess unless you're on her staff."
- She also questioned the credibility of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York eating chicken "apparently for the first time" in her fifties.