WASHINGTON – After White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway declined an invitation to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee about her possible violations of the Hatch Act, the committee voted Wednesday to authorize a subpoena that would compel her to appear.
The resolution passed 25-16.
All Democrats voted yes. All Republicans, except Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), voted no.
The Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees, with the exception of the President, Vice President and a few others, of engaging in certain political activities while acting in their official capacity. The law was enacted in 1939. It is officially titled: “An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities.”
On June 13, the Office of Special Counsel wrote President Donald Trump to inform him that Conway has “repeatedly violated the Hatch Act during her official media appearances by making statements” that disparaged Democratic presidential candidates and appear to have been aimed at benefiting the Trump re-election campaign. A report was submitted along with the letter. It explained the independent counsel’s findings and recommended that Conway immediately be fired.
The same day Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) invited Conway to appear before the committee at a hearing on June 26.
On Monday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote Cummings to inform the committee that Conway would not appear and that the White House had claimed absolute immunity to allow her to refuse testimony.
The White House has denied that Conway violated the Hatch Act and has also questioned whether the law applies to her position.
Trump has said he has no intention of firing Conway.
Once a subpoena is authorized the chair may issue it at his or her discretion.
Bryan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a life-long passion for politics at all levels. He has interned in the Maryland General Assembly and has volunteered for several congressional campaigns. Given this particular background, he has a unique insight into the dynamics of political analysis. When he is not writing, Bryan spends his time reading about history and frequenting Chinese restaurants.