The Office of Special Counsel sent Pres. Donald Trump the findings of an investigation into his official Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, on Tuesday, citing her for two Hatch Act violations after extensive training on what constitutes a violation and what does not.
JUST IN: Office of Special Counsel finds Kellyanne Conway twice violated the Hatch Act and "submitted the report to the President for appropriate disciplinary action." pic.twitter.com/N6kyhhqdrW
— ABC News (@ABC) March 6, 2018
The Hatch Act bars federal employees from engaging in partisan politics while acting in their official capacity.
In the two television appearances — on CNN and Fox News, respectively — Conway is cited for, she appeared in her official capacity as “counselor to President Trump” when she made the violating statements. Both statements involved Conway taking sides in the Alabama Senate race between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican candidate Roy Moore.
“On November 20, 2017, Ms. Conway appeared in her official capacity on Fox News’s Fox & Friends and discussed why voters should not support Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.”
“On December 6, 2017, Ms. Conway appeared in her official capacity on CNN’s New Day and discussed why voters should support Republican Roy Moore, and not support Democrat Doug Jones, in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.”
The OSC also says in the report that during the investigation, Conway was sent the information and allowed to comment on her statements, but never responded.
It’s now on Pres. Trump to determine and carry out whatever disciplinary action he deems appropriate. The question is will he do anything?
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a president to decline to discipline an administration official. As recent as 2016, then-President Barack Obama said he would not discipline his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, who was cited for a Hatch Act violation for praising Hillary Clinton in his office.
Kellyanne Conway has been one of Donald Trump’s true loyalists since the 2016 campaign, and there’s nothing Trump likes more than ardent loyalty. It wouldn’t be surprising if he chose to ignore the letter.