McGahn departs as White House counsel
Ex-Ethics director to file second ethics complaint against Conway
A former director of the Office of Government Ethics announced Thursday that he is filing a second ethics complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway over Conway's repeated statements about the Alabama Senate race.
Walter Shaub said that he would file his second complaint against Conway in a month after he says she appeared to violate the Hatch Act with her statements against Democrat Doug Jones, who is running against controversial GOP candidate Roy Moore for Alabama's Senate seat.
"The willfulness of Conway's violation and her openly expressed disdain for efforts to hold her accountable for complying with ethics requirements make clear that anything less than removal from the federal service or a lengthy unpaid suspension will not deter future misconduct on her part," Shaub said in a statement Thursday.
The Campaign Legal Center, where Shaub is a senior director, added in the statement that Conway should "be removed from office or given a lengthy suspension without pay" over the perceived violations.
The Hatch Act bars federal officials from trying to influence elections.
Shaub's statement comes after Conway on Wednesday reiterated President Trump's endorsement of Moore while attacking Jones.
"The only endorsement that matters in this race is President Trump's," Conway said. "And he came out questioning the ideology and the vote of Doug Jones. He'll be a reliable vote for tax hikes. He'll be a reliable vote against border security. He'll be a reliable vote against national security and keeping ISIS in retreat. He'll be the reliable vote against the Second Amendment and against life."
Shaub said Thursday that "lower-level federal employees have incurred severe penalties for less serious Hatch Act violations."
He added that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel "should not have one standard for the federal workforce generally and a lower standard for those who are close to this President."
In late November, Shaub called Conway's previous comments about Jones a "slam-dunk" violation of the Hatch Act.
"The question is not whether Conway was championing the agenda of the president - who, it's worth noting, actively supports Moore - but whether she was advocating against Jones. Only in a world of alternative facts could Conway's televised words amount to anything other than advocacy against Jones," Shaub said in November.
"In short, the case against Conway is airtight."