House Oversight to hold hearing on Conway's Hatch Act violations

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will hold a hearing later this month with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) after the government agency recommended White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law Democrats ask OSC to review whether Kushner violated Hatch Act Democrats ask OSC to review whether Kushner violated Hatch Act MORE be fired for repeated violations of the Hatch Act.

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens House Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens Democrats lash out at Trump's bombshell remarks MORE (D-Md.), the committee's chairman, said in a statement on Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE should "immediately" fire Conway based on the OSC's findings. 

The hearing will take place on June 26, Cummings said, and Conway will be invited "to answer for her violations."

"Allowing Ms. Conway to continue her position of trust at the White House would demonstrate that the President is not interested in following the law—or requiring his closest aides to do so," Cummings said.

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He noted that the panel has had additional concerns about Conway's use of private jets and her role in the administration's drug control strategy and that the White House had not provided requested documents related to either matter.

Under the Hatch Act, federal employees are prohibited from engaging in elections in their official capacity.

The Office of Special Counsel sent a 17-page report to Trump on Thursday accusing 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” and calling on the president to oust her "immediately."

The office cited more than half a dozen interviews Conway did with Fox News and CNN between February and May 2019 and noted her dismissive attitude toward past violations.

The independent agency, which is unrelated to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE and his Russia investigation, has never recommended that the White House fire an employee over Hatch Act violations.

The decision to discipline or dismiss Conway falls to Trump, not the OSC.

The White House, which has stonewalled Democratic requests for testimony and documentation as part of its oversight investigations, rejected the OSC's recommendation that Conway be fired and called its findings "deeply flawed."

“Its decisions seem to be influenced by media pressure and liberal organizations — and perhaps OSC should be mindful of its own mandate to act in a fair, impartial, non-political manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act,” White House spokesman Steven Groves said in a statement.