It can be hard to keep track of all the norms and laws that the Trump administration shreds through. Before one can even process their latest transgression they’re on to something even worse and more deserving of attention. That said, it’s crucial we catalog it all, not only so that we might one day hold them accountable, but so that we can rebuild our democracy once the criminals infesting our government are finally excised.
One particularly egregious offender who has somehow managed to evade the legal scrutiny she so sorely deserves is Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump. Conway has repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, a statute which prohibits most officials of the executive branch from abusing their positions to help with election campaigning.
Now, the Office of the Special Counsel (a federal agency, no relation to Robert Mueller) has sent a letter to the White House documenting Conway’s repeated violations of the Hatch Act and recommending she be fired over them. The OSC contends that her actions if ignored, undermine the foundation of our entire democracy: the rule of law.
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Not surprisingly, the Trump administration responded in disgraceful action. Rather than heeding the warning, White House Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves responded to the letter by calling the OSC’s actions “deeply flawed” and absurdly claimed that they “violate her constitutional rights to free speech and process.” While disgraceful, it’s hardly a surprise. This crooked administration refuses to hold any of its own accountable, no matter how illegal or immoral their actions.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves responds: pic.twitter.com/k6aU0nTxjn
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) June 13, 2019
Joyce Alene, a former U.S. Attorney tweeted in disgust, pointing out that the White House covering for Conway shreds through another of our democratic norms and encourages other federal employees to engage in illegal pro-Trump political activity with “taxpayers footing the bill.” It’s here that we find the strongest argument for enforcing the Hatch Act: those who despise this administration should not see their money being used to prop it up.
The WH’s response to OSC’s recommendation Kellyanne Conway be removed due to Hatch Act violations kills another norm. Federal employees are now free to engage in political activity, or at least pro-Trump political activity with taxpayers footing the bill. https://t.co/BZohVgNS3g
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 13, 2019
CNBC‘s Eamon Javers tweeted that he encountered Conway in the White House press office and decided to ask her about the OSC’s demand for her firing. Instead of addressing the issue, she pointed at the door and told him to leave immediately. He asked her the same question later, and again she refused to give a straight answer.
“I have no reaction. Why would I give you a reaction?” she responded, with all the entitlement of a government official who knows she has nothing to fear so long as her boss sits in the Oval Office.
I was just standing in an office in the WH press office when Kellyanne Conway came in. I asked for her reaction to this. She pointed to the door and said “can you leave, please?” Later, I asked her again, and she said: “I have no reaction. Why would I give you a reaction?“ https://t.co/DZWKJsQLQb
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) June 13, 2019
Clearly, the Republicans are not going to stand up to Conway or any of Trump’s other lackeys. The only tenable option at this point is to vote them all out of office. Once Democrats are once again in control, we can finally set about undoing the damage the Trumpists have done to our Republic.