Monday White House counselor Kellyanne Conway pushed back against the finding that she violated the Hatch Act, responding to reports that the House Oversight Committee plans to vote Wednesday on whether to subpoena her to appear.
She dismissed the recommendation that she be fired as an attempt to “silence” her and prevent her from working toward the president’s re-election.
In a memo sent to the White House, the committee said it “will hold a hearing to examine the recommendation of the independent Office of Special Counsel (OSC) that President Trump remove Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway from federal service, as well as reports by OSC about Ms. Conway and other Trump Administration appointees.” The memo continued: “The Committee also will hold a business meeting to consider a subpoena in the event that Ms. Conway does not appear.”
The OSC recommended earlier in June that Conway be fired from the federal government for violating the Hatch Act on “numerous occasions” through TV interviews and on Twitter. The Hatch Act is a federal law that limits certain political activities of federal employees.
Conway said that, according to White House counsel, it is unclear legally whether the Hatch Act “applies to assistants to the president.”
“We think I would be the first member of the West Wing to ever be hauled in front of Congress to talk about the Hatch Act,” she said, questioning whether her TV appearances and social media activity would fall under the Hatch Act.
“You know what they’re mad about? They want to put a big roll of masking tape over my mouth. I helped as the campaign manager for the successful part of the campaign,” she argued.
“I helped by being on television, by being on radio. I helped and they want to silence me. Now, this is my First Amendment right. They want to chill free speech because they don’t know how to beat him at the ballot box. They were hoping that the other Office of Special Counsel would do the job. Even if the Hatch Act applies, our position is I haven’t violated it.”
In a recent interview with Fox News, President Trump made it clear that he has no intention of removing Conway.