White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated federal law when she weighed in on Alabama's special Senate election in two televised interviews last fall, the U.S. Official of Special Counsel said Tuesday. Conway appeared in interviews on Fox News' Fox & Friends and CNN's New Day in which she urged voters to support Republican candidate Roy Moore over Democrat Doug Jones, the contest's eventual winner. In doing so, she "impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates," the OSC wrote.
The law Conway ran afoul of is the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch employees from engaging in certain partisan activities. Because Conway was appearing in the interviews — with Fox News in November and CNN in December — in her official capacity as counselor to the president, her advocacy for Moore and against Jones in those appearances was unlawful, the OSC wrote.
The OSC is an independent investigative arm for the federal government and is separate from the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which falls under the Justice Department's purview. The OSC said it "gave Conway the opportunity to respond to the allegations" during its investigation, as well as upon completion of its report, but that "she did not respond." Read the OSC's full release below. Kimberly Alters