Kellyanne Conway Has Been Cited On Federal Law Violations For Trying To Influence Alabama’s Special Election

03.06.18 1 year ago

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In November 2017, former head of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub went so far as to file a complaint against Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway for her pro-Roy Moore and anti-Doug Jones advocacy during interviews from the White House. According to Shaub and several other ethics lawyers from both Republican and Democrat administrations, Conway very clearly violated the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits certain federal employees from stumping for political candidates while on the clock, while trying to influence the Alabama special election.

The Office of the Special Counsel (not related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe) agreed with that assessment and issued a report to the White House, saying as much while leaving the punishment up to the president.

According to the report, Conway “impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special election” at two points in November and December while talking about the Alabama special Senate election. One interview cited in the report was aired on CNN while the other was aired on Fox News. In both interviews, Conway was introduced as “counselor to President Trump” and touched on similar points, including Jones’ positions on taxes and “border security.” In the CNN interview, Conway went so far as to say that President Trump “doesn’t want a liberal Democrat representing Alabama in the United States Senate.”

In 2016, then-Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was similarly found to be stumping for Hillary Clinton in an interview in which he repeatedly declared he was answering political questions in his personal capacity, but he was not punished by President Obama.

UPDATE: Many suspected that Conway would not be punished for these violations, and White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley has already issued a statement to that effect, via The Hill:

“Kellyanne Conway did not advocate for or against the election of any particular candidate. She simply expressed the president’s obvious position that he have people in the House and Senate, who support his agenda.”

(Via CNN and ABC News)

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