OSC Blasts Kellyanne Conway's 'Unprecedented' Behavior

OSC Blasts Kellyanne Conway's 'Unprecedented' Behavior

OSC Blasts Kellyanne Conway's 'Unprecedented' Behavior

A United States government oversight agency has said White House aide Kellyanne Conway should be fired for engaging in banned political activities while in office.

The OSC, a federal watchdog agency not to be confused with the now-defunct office of special counsel Robert Mueller's office, issued a scathing report labeling Conway a "repeat offender" of the Hatch Act.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote an 11-page letter to the Office of Special Counsel arguing that the agency's report makes "grave legal, factual, and procedural errors".

In its conclusion, the OSC said that Conway "has substantial knowledge of the Hatch Act and was previously found to have violated the law by engaging in similar conduct". The agency has no enforcement powers and it would be up to President Donald Trump to discipline her.

"I'm going to talk about people's records because I have the right to", Conway said, according to the Hill.

CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder in a statement Thursday said the watchdog was glad that the OSC confirmed CREW's finding of multiple Hatch Act violations by Conway. "Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system-the rule of law".

But the White House showed no sign of taking action against Conway, firing back by calling the report "unprecedented" and suggesting it was politically influenced.

Conway has been officially reprimanded but not severely punished for these kinds of statements before, so it's probably unlikely that she'll be severely punished - or booted from the White House - for these kinds of statements now.

"Conway's repeated violations and publicly expressed disdain for the law show a unsafe disregard for governmental ethics, the rule of law and the long-held understanding that government officials should not use their official positions to advance partisan politics", Bookbinder said. It happened several times in the Obama administration but the OSC didn't recommend the removal of the official.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, which filed complaints with the OSC about Conway's conduct said "Conway's repeated violations and publicly expressed disdain for the law show a unsafe disregard for governmental ethics, the rule of law and the long-held understanding that government officials should not use their official positions to advance partisan politics".

"When asked about the Hatch Act, the OSC said she replied: "'If you're trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it's not going to work, '" and, "'Let me know when the jail sentence starts'".

"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 weaponized the Hatch Act", Groves stated. "She'll just - I'll say, do this one or that one".

The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from using their office to campaign for or against political candidates.

Yet, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other Trump officials have stood at the White House podium - when daily or regular press briefings were held - and declined to answer questions by pointing to the Hatch Act. The report released Thursday cites comments Conway made during the Alabama Senate special election in December 2017, which the office found violated the Hatch Act in another report released previous year.

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