The Office of Special Counsel on Thursday recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work.
The report submitted to President Trump found that Conway violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media."
"Ms. Conway's violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employ-ees 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," the letter said.
The office recommends to President Trump that he remove Ms. Conway from her post.
In response, the White House rejected the recommendation, calling the actions against Ms. Conway "deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process."
The White House added that the OSC's 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."
The Hatch Act stipulates that most executive branch officials must not engage in political activity in an official capacity at any time. The president is one of few exceptions to that rule.
The Office of Special Counsel is a government body charged with enforcing the Hatch Act, a law passed in 1939 that aims to prevent the government from influencing elections or acting in a partisan manner.
Ms. Conway has been repri-manded by the OSC a number of times since Mr. Trump took office, including once for advocating for Republican Roy Moore in Alabama's special election for Senate in a televi-sion interview while appearing in her official capacity.
White House social media director Dan Scavino and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also received official warnings over tweets that the OSC said broke the rules.
Vivian Salama, Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2019.
June 13, 2019
Voices4America Post Script. FYI. Henry Kerner, who runs the OSC, was a Trump appointee who previously worked for Senator John McCain and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (chaired by Republican Congressmen Chaffetz and Issa).