Kellyanne Conway Violated Hatch Act Law Twice, Trump To Decide Disciplinary Action: Office Of Special Counsel

Updated | Kellyanne Conway violated a federal law prohibiting government employees from engaging in political activity in their official capacity, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced on Tuesday.

Related: Former Bush Ethics Chief Says Kellyanne Conway Should Be Fired for Being Too Political, Violating Federal Law

The office also sent an investigative report, concluding that Conway violated the Hatch Act, to the president for disciplinary action.

Conway, a counselor to the president, appeared in her official capacity on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” show on November 20 and advocated against then-Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones, a Democrat. Conway gave an implied endorsement to his Republican opponent, Roy Moore.

Trump reportedly is the one who had given Conway personal approval to criticize Jones.

“I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” Conway said on air. "I just want everybody to know Doug Jones, nobody ever says his name and they pretend that he’s some kind of conservative Democrat in Alabama and he’s not.”

Conway the following day tweeted, “I addressed Doug Jones. I did not address Roy Moore.”

In the second violation, on December 6, Conway appeared on CNN’s “New Day” show, and encouraged voters to support Moore instead of Jones in the race.

“Both instances constituted prohibited political activity under the Hatch Act and occurred after Conway received significant training on Hatch Act prohibitions,” the office stated in a press release.

Trump eventually endorsed Moore, who lost to Jones in mid-December.

The office stated that it gave Conway a chance to respond to allegations during its investigation and to the completed report, but she did not.

Former ethics chiefs accused Conway of violating the act in November. Walter Shaub, who was director of the Office of Government Ethics under former President Barack Obama, filed a complaint with the office and tweeted, “It seems pretty clear she was appearing in her official capacity when she advocated against a candidate.”

Richard Painter, a chief ethics lawyer under ex-President George W. Bush who serves as the vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, agreed, and tweeted, “That is a firing offense. And for her this is strike two.”

This story has been updated with background around Conway’s Hatch Act violation.

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