By Fred Lucas
The Trump administration came to the defense of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, sharply rejecting a call from a federal watchdog that she should be fired for criticizing political opponents during TV interviews at the White House.
The Office of Special Counsel issued a report asserting that Conway violated the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that prevents federal employees from engaging in political activities on federal property.
The Office of Special Counsel previously found two of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet secretaries had violated the Hatch Act in 2012 and 2016, but neither was punished.
The letter to Trump called Conway a “repeat offender” for talking about Democratic presidential candidates in TV interviews while on White House grounds. The letter called for the president “to remove Ms. Conway from her federal platform immediately.”
“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” the letter states. “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”
Conway, the first woman to manage a successful presidential campaign, told reporters Thursday, “I have no reaction.”
The White House is standing behind Conway. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote a response to special counsel Henry Kerner, claiming the report was based on “numerous grave, legal, and procedural errors.”
“First, even assuming that the Hatch Act applies to the most senior advisers to the President in the White House, OSC has violated its statutory obligation to provide Ms. Conway a reasonable opportunity to respond, violated Ms. Conway’s due process rights, and abused its discretion by issuing a report tainted by inappropriate external influences,” the White House counsel’s letter says, adding:
Second, OSC’s overbroad and unsupported interpretation of the Hatch Act risks violating Ms. Conway’s First Amendment rights and chills …read more
From:: Daily Signal – Feed