Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena This week: Congress set for clash on Trump’s border request House Oversight Committee to vote on authorizing subpoena for Kellyanne Conway MORE on Monday claimed allegations she violated the Hatch Act are politically motivated, after a House committee floated a subpoena for the White House counselor.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee will vote this week on a subpoena to compel Conway to testify on the Office of Special Counsel’s finding that she violated the law barring officials from weighing in on elections in their government capacity.
“You know what they’re mad about?” Conway said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Monday. “They want to put a big roll of masking tape over my mouth because I helped as the campaign manager for the successful part of the campaign.”
“I helped by being on television, by being on radio, I helped and they want to silence me now,” she continued. “This is my First Amendment right, they want to chill free speech because they don’t know how to beat [Trump] at the ballot box.”
Conway argued the law is unclear whether it applies to an assistant to the president; that she hasn’t violated the statute; that Democrats are attempting to silence her right to free speech; and that a watchdog group responsible for numerous Hatch Act complaints is a “left-wing propaganda machine.”
Kellyanne Conway dismisses Office of Special Counsel accusing her of repeatedly violating the Hatch Act — a law intended to bar federal employees from engaging in political activities while on the job.
“They want to silence me … our position is I haven’t violated it.” pic.twitter.com/U7XOBS8SMG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 24, 2019
Conway has steadfastly maintained that she did not violate the decades-old law, and the Trump administration has dismissed the allegations.
The Office of Special Counsel sent a report to President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says ‘stubborn child’ Fed ‘blew it’ by not cutting rates MORE earlier this month recommending Conway be removed from her job after it said she repeatedly violated the Hatch Act. It previously found her in violation for her comments on a 2017 special U.S. Senate election in Alabama, and more recently found she violated the law with comments about 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
But the White House issued a lengthy response disputing the office’s findings, saying the report violated Conway’s free speech rights. Trump has said he has no plans to remove Conway.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee is set to hold a hearing Wednesday about Conway’s repeated Hatch Act violations. It invited Conway to appear alongside the Office of Special Counsel, but the panel said in a memo on Sunday that it would vote to subpoena the White House counselor if she does not appear voluntarily.
Conway on Monday asserted she would become the first West Wing employee to be “hauled in front of Congress to talk about the Hatch Act.”
She accused Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a watchdog group that has filed repeated complaints about Conway and other White House staffers, of “trying to weaponize the Hatch Act.”
“They don’t like the fact that I’m so effective at a tiny piece of my job,” Conway said.
A CREW spokesman said in response to Conway’s criticisms that she should consider working for the Trump campaign instead of using government resources in her current role.
“The law is the law, you don’t get to say it isn’t clear that it applies to you if you don’t want it to,” Jordan Libowitz said in a statement to The Hill. “An investigation by the Trump administration not only says that it does, but that her violations are so severe she should not have a job in the government.”