Kellyanne Conway violated Hatch Act, special counsel says


The White House on Tuesday rejected the findings, saying Conway was only reflecting the president's views when she spoke against Doug Jones, the Democrat running for the Senate seat, and in favor of Roy Moore, the Republican candidate.

The Office of the Special Counsel (not related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe) agreed with that assessment and issued a report to the White House, saying as much while leaving the punishment up to the president.

Conway did not respond to the Office of Special Counsel's request for more information about the potential Hatch Act violations, according to its report.

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Ms. Conway's introduction of Doug Jones into the interview was unprompted, unresponsive to the question asked by the Fox & Friends host, and surprising given that she knew the four identified interview topics did not include Doug Jones, Roy Moore, or the Alabama special election.

The second interview the report cites was from December 5 on the CNN program New Day.

"I'm telling you, we want the votes in the Senate to get the tax bill through", Conway replied.

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"Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don't be fooled", Conway said. White House social media director Dan Scavino was also reprimanded for using a White House Twitter account to call for the ouster of a Republican member of Congress. He's weak on crime, weak on borders.

The report from the OSC claims the office gave her ample opportunity to respond to their report, which included a commitment from the White House counsel's office that it said Conway never followed through on. "Both instances constituted prohibited political activity under the Hatch Act and occurred after Conway received significant training on Hatch Act prohibitions".

"While federal employees may express their views about candidates as private citizens, the Hatch Act restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes", Kerner's letter said. "She simply expressed the President's obvious position that he have people in the House and Senate who support his agenda", deputy press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. (By the way, that isn't the same office investigating Russian meddling.) Conway's November 20 appearance on "Fox & Friends" is under scrutiny. A White House spokesperson says Conway didn't advocate for or against a particular candidate during her TV appearances. Walter Shaub, the then-head of the Office of Government Ethics, criticized the president's decision at that time not to discipline Conway.

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Conway is also not the first Trump White House official to be found in violation of the Hatch Act. The special counsel's office previous year found that White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. violated the law when he posted on Twitter urging Trump's supporters to defeat a GOP congressman, Justin Amash, in MI.