In the latest dig at the embattled White House, a federal watchdog group has made it clear that Kellyanne Conway has got to go.
The Office of the Special Counsel, (no relation to the similarly named position held briefly by Robert Mueller), has suggested to the White House that senior advisor and former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway be fired from the federal government.
The OSC believes that Mrs. Conway’s verbal disapproval of democratic presidential candidates while working within the White House is illegal under the Hatch Act.
“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. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law,” the OSC said in a statement Thursday, noting that Conway has been a “repeat offender.”
The law’s purpose is to ensure federal programs are “administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation,” according to the OSC. The office is an independent federal agency that monitors compliance with that law and others.
The White House, predictably furious regarding the ruling, lashed out in a statement on Thursday.
“The Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) unprecedented actions against Kellyanne Conway are deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process. Others, of all political views, have objected to the OSC’s unclear and unevenly applied rules which have a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees,” deputy press secretary Steven Groves said in a statement Thursday. “Its 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, non-political manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act.”
There have been no indications that Conway would be removed by the President or his staff.
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