Saturday, 15 June, 2019

Federal agency recommends firing of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway

Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act Kellyanne Conway Violated Hatch Act and Should Be Fired, Special Counsel Tells Donald Trump
Steven Clarke | 13 June, 2019, 21:26

The government's chief political watchdog said Thursday that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has violated the Hatch Act so often that she should be fired.

"OSC's draft Report is based on multiple fundamental legal and factual errors, makes unfair and unsupported claims against a close advisor to the President, is the product of a blatantly unfair process that ignored statutory notice requirements, and has been influences by various inappropriate considerations".

The Office of Special Counsel is not connected to the office of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Steven Groves, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement that OSC's actions against Conway are "deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights".

The agency said that because Conway was a "repeat offender", it was recommending that she be removed from federal office. "OSC's overreaching recommendation is wholly unsupported by any statute or the Constitution".

The US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said in a statement on Thursday that Conway has become a "repeat offender" of the Hatch Act by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.

"She'll do the shows that nobody else dares go near", Trump said in a speech last spring praising her.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaks with the news media after giving an interview to Fox News outside of the White House in Washington, U.S. May 23, 2019. "Its decisions seem to be influenced by media pressure and liberal organizations - and perhaps (the Office of the Special Counsel) should be mindful of its own mandate to act in a fair, impartial, non-political manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act", Groves said.

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Cipollone also says that the OSC's interpretation of the Hatch Act - to forbid the use of official positions for partisan political purposes - as violating Conway's First Amendment rights.

The Office of Special Counsel is an independent federal agency charged with enforcing the Hatch Act and other civil service rules.

White House counsel's office staff spoke with Kerner, according to the letter, to talk about the timing of the request for a response.

However, Conway has scoffed at the significance of these violations, saying in May that "if you're trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it's not going to work".

The Office of Special Counsel has found numerous Hatch Act violations by Conway.

The president, vice-president and some other high level officials are not bound by the 1939 Hatch Act. She pointed to the door and said 'can you leave, please?' Later, I asked her again, and she said: 'I have no reaction. "Let me know when the jail sentence starts".

The report released Thursday cites comments Conway made during the Alabama Senate special election in December 2017, which the office found violated the Hatch Act in another report released previous year. Congress could always strengthen the law's enforcement mechanisms, but that would require the kind of bipartisan co-operation that has been in short supply of late.

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