This just in
The Office of Special Counsel has concluded that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway should be fired for violating the Hatch Act.
The federal watchdog on Thursday said that Conway "repeatedly" violated the law, which limits the political activities federal employees can engage in in their official capacity, by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media."
The Office of Special Counsel noted that although the president and vice president are exempt from the Hatch Act, "employees of the White House are not." In a letter to President Trump, the OSC says that Conway's "actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law" and that the office "recommends that she be removed from federal service." Politico notes that the OSC has "never before made such a recommendation for a White House official."
The White House on Thursday criticized this decision, with Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves calling the office's actions "unprecedented" and "deeply flawed" and arguing they "violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process," also saying the decision was "influenced by media pressure and liberal organizations." Conway had previously dismissed concerns over Hatch Act violations, The Washington Post reports, saying, "Blah, blah, blah. If you're trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it's not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts."