Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Report sent to Trump says Kellyanne Conway should be fired

Report sent to Trump says Kellyanne Conway should be fired

A U.S. federal watchdog is recommending that Donald Trump fire one of his most ardent and high-profile defenders, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, for repeatedly violating a law that limits political activity by government workers.

In response, a White House spokesman called the report "deeply flawed", and said it violates "her constitutional rights to free speech and due process".

"OSC's overbroad and unsupported interpretation of the Hatch act risks violating Ms. Conway's First Amendment rights and chills the free speech of all government employees", Pat Cipollone, counsel to the president, said in a letter.

Mrs. Conway publicly thumbed her nose at the Hatch Act last month by daring the government to jail her.

A federal watchdog recommended Thursday that President Trump immediately fire adviser Kellyanne Conway-but that looks highly unlikely. Conway is one of the most frequent officials who routinely take part in these free-for-all sessions, and she rarely holds back criticizing Democrats or any Trump political foe.

It goes on to detail the allegations further, and ultimately calls for Ms. Conway's "removal from federal service".

Others sanctioned by the Office of Special Counsel for political messages include former interior secretary Ryan Zinke; Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman; Dan Scavino, former White House social media director; and Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the United Nations. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are exempt from the Hatch Act, but there are no exceptions for White House employees.

"Ms. Conway, while maintaining her position in the White House, represents the administration", Hempwitz said.

"Despite his efforts to clarify that he was speaking only for himself and not as a HUD official when answering political questions, Secretary Castro's statements impermissibly mixed his personal political views with official government agency business" the OSC's report read.

The recommendation carries no actual power to remove Conway. The assembled journalists noted that she appeared to be violating the Hatch Act again.

The appropriate next step, according to the agency, would be to dismiss Conway. "The Report is based on numerous grave legal, factual, and procedural errors".

The White House released a lengthy letter its top attorney wrote this week begging Mr. Kerner to delay release of the report and complaining that he violated his own rules in rushing to ding Mrs. Conway.

It would be futile to speculate as to the motives of Special Counsel Henry Kerner, a Trump appointee.

The special counsel's report bears no relation to the work of Robert Mueller, who was specifically appointed in a separate capacity pertaining to the Trump-Russia investigation relating to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Conway was found guilty of multiple violations of The Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work.

Cummings is also interested in whether Conway has divested her assets or is still involved in The Polling Company, which Conway founded.

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