Federal Watchdog: Fire Kellyanne Conway

Federal Watchdog: Fire Kellyanne Conway

Kerner's comments came after the Office of Special Counsel, separate from the office with a similar name previously run by Robert Mueller, released a scathing report saying Conway violated the Hatch Act - which limits political activities of federal employees - by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity" during media appearances.

The OSC, which is not affiliated with the Justice Department's special counsel's office, investigated Conway's statements and interviews regarding the 2020 election.

'Second, OSC's overbroad and unsupported interpretation of the Hatch Act risks violating Ms. Conway's First Amendment rights and chills the free speech of all government employees, ' he added.

Recently, Conway even intentionally mocked the Hatch Act as she attacked former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for president. In it, the OSC cites several instances where Kellyanne Conway appeared to go out of her way to engage in "politicking" - that is, engaging in political activity or endorsing a political candidate, in violation of the Hatch Act of 1939. In 2012, OSC found that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated it when she included political remarks in a speech at a Human Rights Campaign event in North Carolina.

Last month, when asked about the Hatch Act by White House reporters, Conway responded, "Blah, blah, blah. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system - the rule of law", the letter said.

The White House was quick to defend Conway.

She now is leading White House efforts on reducing deaths by opioids and Trump likely would be loathe to have her leave the White House right when he is cranking up his re-election campaign.

Kerner said he therefore would "respectfully request" that Conway be held to the same standards as other federal employees and that "you find removal from federal service to be the appropriate disciplinary action".

Office of the Special Counsel chief Henry Kerner admitted in an interview with the Washington Post that it was "unprecedented" for his office to recommend that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway be fired.

Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence are exempt from the Hatch Act, but there are no exceptions for White House employees.

Two days prior to Kerner issuing his letter along with the OSC investigation into the matter, White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote Kerner in defense of Conway, accusing him of presenting allegations "based on numerous grave legal, factual, and procedural errors". "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, nonpolitical manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act".

In late 2018, the Office of Special Counsel found six White House officials in violation of the law for using their official Twitter accounts to send or display political messages supporting Trump. "I have no reaction". The White House said she was only expressing Trump's preference.

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