George Conway forms group to encourage conservative lawyers to 'speak out' against Trump
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George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, has organized a group with the goal of urging fellow conservative lawyers to speak out against the Trump administration's actions.

“We believe in the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights and the necessity of civil discourse,” the group, Check and Balances, said in a mission statement. “We believe these principles apply regardless of the party or persons in power.”

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The New York Times notes that the group's launch comes as The Federalist Society, a conservative legal group, prepares to gather on Thursday for its 2018 convention. 

The statement from the group was signed by 14 conservative lawyers, including former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) and former acting Attorney General Pete Keisler, who served in the George W. Bush administration. 

Conway, who has been a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE, told the Times that while he admires The Federalist Society's work, there is a "perception out there that conservative lawyers have essentially sold their souls for judges and regulatory reform."

“We just want to be a voice speaking out, and to encourage others to speak out," he said. 

Keisler added to the newspaper that Checks and Balances is intended to encourage debate about the Trump administration's policies. 

“It’s important that people from across the political spectrum speak out about the country’s commitment to the rule of law and the core values underlying it — that the criminal justice system should be nonpartisan and independent, that a free press and public criticism should be encouraged and not attacked,” Keisler said. 

Conway has criticized the president over a number of issues. Just last week, he penned an op-ed in which he asserted that Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general was unconstitutional. 

“It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid," Conway and lawyer Neal Katya wrote. 

Trump has pushed back against his criticism, telling reporters that Conway is only making statements such as those to "get publicity for himself."