During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing today, Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) criticized Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President of the United States, for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act and breaking a federal law meant to prevent government officials from engaging in political activity.
Congressman Sarbanes also voted to authorize a bipartisan subpoena for Kellyanne Conway, after she refused to appear before the committee.
“There’s… the danger that allowing federal employees to advocate for political campaigns while on duty would undermine the public’s confidence that the government is actually doing its job,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The Hatch Act is there to protect federal employees. But I think it’s also there to enforce the kind of separation from politics and these official offices… that the country has a right to expect… It brings credit when you observe those lines to those offices, and it potentially can discredit them when you don’t observe the boundary. And the President, I think, must act to protect the integrity of the federal workforce, to police that boundary that I’ve just spoken of… For that reason, he needs to fire Kellyanne Conway.”
On June 13, 2019, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) – an independent agency – sent President Donald J. Trump a letter and report finding that Conway engaged in “persistent, notorious, and deliberate Hatch Act violations.” The report called on the President “to remove Ms. Conway from her federal position immediately.”
The Hatch Act prohibits Executive Branch employees from using their official titles or positions to engage in election-related political activity.