Special Counsel Finds Kellyane Conway Violated Federal Law

By: Dana Phillips

This Tuesday the US Office of Special Counsel announced that White House aide Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on more than one occasion this past fall. The Hatch Act was passed in 1939, in order to help build the public trust in the executive branch. It is officially called An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, a preventative measure that restricts the members of the executive branch from participating in partisan politics.

Kellyane Conway, photo via  MSNBC

Kellyane Conway, photo via MSNBC

Conway violated this act on two separate occasions when she used television interviews to promote the Republican candidate Roy Moore and against Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the Alabama special election. The Counsel referenced the interviews Conway participated in last fall with CNN's "New Day" program and Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program”. In November during a "Fox with Friends interview," Conway "appearing in her "official capacity" expressed without being prompted, why she believed voters should not support Moore. On December 6th as apart of an interview on CNN's news Day, Conway once again appeared in her "official capacity" expressing her opinion as to why Alabama voters should support Republican Roy Moore, and not opponent Doug Jones. Moore was accused of sexual misconduct against a minor and lost to Jones in the election. 

The White House has responded to the reports claiming that Conway addressed the public in" her official capacity" conveying the opinions of the President. The most prevalent part of the Act is although it allows federal employees to express their opinions about candidates and political issues. It only allows them to express those opinions as private citizens not as restricted federal employees. However, the comments Conway made immediately grabbed the attention of the Office of the Government Ethics. Walter Shaub tweeted in November that he was filling an official complaint with the US Special Counsel to investigate the Hatch Violation.

Richard Painter had also tweeted about his concern that Conway had violated the Hatch Act. Painter was the former chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush’s. 

Prior to this incident, Conway was also scolded for giving a shameless plug for Ivanka Trump's clothing line formerly sold at Nordstrom. It seems that on more than one occasion Conway has been accused of misconduct, if this is strike two, how many more will she get? 

Kayla PasacretaComment