Kellyanne Conway Gonna Keep On Crimin'
Boy, it's gonna be awkward at the Conway house tonight. Like, even more than usual when one partner makes her living barfing insane nonsense to support the Dear Leader into every available microphone, and the other is a leading light of the Twitter Resisteratti. George Conway has been tweeting up a storm about our lawless president and how he should be impeached, and here's his lovely wife Kellyanne wandering into the frame to violate the Hatch Act six ways from Sunday. Hope they can hold it together for the sake of the corgis!
Today the Office of Special Counsel (not the Special Counsel's Office!) sent a report to the president recommending that Kellyanne Conway be fired from federal service for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. The Act protects federal employees from being conscripted to support a particular political candidate or party and bars high-level employees from publicly supporting a political candidate. The OSC is responsible for enforcing the Act and protecting whistleblowers and, by sheer coincidence, they posted this handy video to their Twitter feed just last week 'splaining the very law in question.
This isn't Kellyanne's first tangle with the OSC, which has previously faulted her for attacking candidate Doug Jones in 2017, telling Fox & Friends that an alleged pedophile is better than a "doctrinaire liberal" any day: "Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don't be fooled. He will be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime. Weak on borders. He is strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners." The White House responded to the OSC's previous complaint by "counseling" Kellyanne. LOL, whatever.
And she's at it again for the 2020 cycle, attacking almost every major Democratic candidate on television and through the Twitter account she uses for official business.
Beginning in February 2019, Ms. Conway, during official media appearances, engaged in a pattern of partisan attacks on several Democratic Party candidates shortly after they announced their candidacy for President, including Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Congressman Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke, and former Vice President Joe Biden. For example, in one interview, Ms. Conway insinuated that Senator Booker was "sexist" and a "tinny" "motivational speaker." In another, Ms. Conway said Senator Warren was "lying" about her ethnicity and "appropriating somebody else's heritage." After Mr. O'Rourke announced his candidacy, Ms. Conway attacked him for not "think[ing] the women running are good enough to be President."
On May 29, Conway -- who is A LAWYER, Mazal Tov GW Law -- seemed to brush off any suggestion that the federal law applied to her, 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." This appears to have been the final straw, as Special Counsel Henry Kerner wrote to the president this morning:
Ms. Conway's disregard for the restrictions the Hatch Act places on executive branch employees is unacceptable. If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in removal from her federal position by the Merit Systems Protection Board. 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. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.
But rule of law is not really the Trump administration's thing. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent one of his signature nastygrams alleging gross violations of due process and the First Amendment and "inappropriate external influence," whatever that's supposed to imply. Because the best defense is a good offense, we guess. (We read a lot of Cipollone letters to Congress, and they're all the same shrieking, bad faith exegesis.)
Then the White House put out a statement accusing the OSC of violating poor, defenseless Kellyanne's "constitutional rights to free speech and due process" and "weaponiz[ing] the Hatch Act." The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Hatch Act does not violate the First Amendment. As for due process, the OSC reports that Kellyanne refused to engage with them at all. Besides which, only the president has the authority to fire her, and we look forward to that happening ... NEVER. So, basically the OSC has violated her rights by making mean words about her. BOO FUCKING HOO.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Special Counsel Kerner acknowledged the "unprecedented" nature of his Office recommending that a high-ranking presidential advisor be quitfired for violating the Hatch Act, saying, "You know what else is unprecedented? Kellyanne Conway's behavior."
Silly SCO! In Trumpland, laws are for the little people.
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