(Bloomberg) -- White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway should be “removed from federal service” for disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity, a federal watchdog agency said.
Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government officials from conducting politics while acting in their capacity as a federal employee, the independent U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a report released Thursday. The agency has no enforcement powers and it would be up to President Donald Trump to discipline her.
The White House immediately blasted the report, saying it was “deeply flawed” and violated Conway’s constitutional rights to free speech.
“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.
Thursday’s report isn’t the first time Conway has been called out by the agency. In March 2018, the OSC said she had violated the Hatch Act in two separate interviews when she advocated for candidates in the 2017 Alabama special election for the Senate.
The agency on Thursday referred to Conway as a “repeat offender” and cited remarks she made on May 29 downplaying the significance of the Hatch Act.
“If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work,” Conway said. “Let me know when the jail sentence starts.”
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