Watchdog group launches petition to demand Kellyanne Conway resign for violating Hatch Act

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has launched a petition demanding White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway calls for thorough Lincoln Project probe: 'The lying has to stop' Claudia Conway advances on 'American Idol,' parents Kellyanne, George appear The swift death of the media darlings known as the Lincoln Project MORE resign for repeated violations of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in elections in their official capacity.

"Based on CREW complaints, the Office of Special Counsel has found that Kellyanne Conway’s repeated violations of the Hatch Act by using her official position for partisan purposes warrant her removal from federal service," the group says on a website page for its petition. "OSC’s determination is unprecedented, but such egregious violations, and her expressed disdain for the law, make clear that her removal is necessary to preserve the rule of law."

The petition had accrued more than 12,600 signatures as of Sunday morning. The group's goal is to reach 12,800 signatures. 

CREW, a nonprofit accountability watchdog organization, has repeatedly criticized the Trump administration's conduct and has filed two complaints against Conway for alleged Hatch Act violation. 

In light of CREW's complaints, the OSC last week urged President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE to remove Conway from the White House for what it said were repeated violations of federal law. 

In a 17-page report sent to Trump, the office accused Conway of breaking the law on numerous occasions “by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media."

“As a highly visible member of the administration, Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” special counsel Henry Kerner wrote to Trump. “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.”

The White House dismissed the findings, calling the recommendation “deeply flawed."

“No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a terrific person,” Trump said during an interview with “Fox & Friends" on Friday.

The Hatch Act prohibits a large majority of federal officials from using “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” The law has been effective since 1939.