Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 4-U.S. government watchdog: Trump aide Conway should be fired for political comments

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 14-06-2019 02:01 IST | Created: 14-06-2019 01:58 IST
UPDATE 4-U.S. government watchdog: Trump aide Conway should be fired for political comments
Image Credit: Flickr

A U.S. government watchdog agency on Thursday recommended Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, be fired for repeatedly violating U.S. law with political comments while serving in the White House. The White House immediately rejected the special counsel office's ruling and demanded that it withdraw its report.

A statement from the Office of Special Counsel cited Conway's comments in television interviews and social media posts as violations of the Hatch Act, a 1939 law prohibiting executive branch employees from engaging in some political activities. The president, vice president and certain other senior officials are exempted. The OSC, which can make such recommendations but does not have the authority to enforce them, referred to disparaging comments Conway made about Democratic presidential candidates.

"Given that Ms. Conway is a repeat offender and has shown disregard for the law, OSC recommends that she be removed from federal service," the statement said. Conway, 52, served as Trump's campaign manager in 2016, becoming the first woman to head a winning presidential campaign, and is one of his most loyal aides and fiercest defenders.

She currently is leading White House efforts on reducing deaths by opioids and Trump likely would be loathe to have her leave the White House right when he is cranking up his re-election campaign. White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves said the OSC action violated Conway's constitutional rights to free speech and due process and was pushed by media pressure and liberal organizations.

"Based on the numerous errors in the report and the flawed process under which it was issued, we ask that you withdraw and retract the report and continue the dialogue with this office that should have taken place and that could have avoided many of the errors in the current draft," said a letter to the OSC from White House legal counsel Pat Cipollone. Democrats pounced after the report was released.

"Complying with the law is not optional. President Trump should terminate Ms. Conway's employment immediately in light of these dozens of violations of federal law," said Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House of Representatives' Oversight and Reform Committee. He said he would hold a hearing with the OSC on June 26 and invite Conway to "answer for her violations."

The Special Counsel's office is an independent agency run by lawyer Henry Kerner, who was confirmed by the Senate in October 2017 after Trump nominated him for the position. In attempting to discipline officials as senior as Conway, the agency can only recommend action, not carry it out.

Last month Conway was critical of former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the leading Democrats seeking to unseat Trump in 2020, in conversations with reporters at the White House. In recent television appearances she attacked another challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders, and scoffed at candidate Seth Moulton, a member of the House of Representatives, as an unknown. The special counsel office cited Conway last year for favoring a Republican candidate over a Democrat in an interview discussing a special Senate election in Alabama in 2017. The White House said she was only expressing Trump's preference.

Conway's husband, Republican lawyer George Conway, is a vociferous Trump critic who has called for impeachment and said Trump is "mentally unwell."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

Young activists, localists top Hong Kong pro-democracy polls

Young activists and localist candidates dominated Hong Kongs unofficial pro-democracy primaries over the weekend, with hundreds of thousands of people voting despite warnings the election could violate the territorys new security law. Candi...

TikTok ban in US takes a big espionage tool away from China: NSA

China will lose a big tool of espionage and surveillance if America and some western European countries ban Chinese apps like TikTok as done by India, US National Security Advisor Robert OBrien has said. India last month banned 59 Chinese a...

PSBs to purchase NBFC bonds/CPs worth Rs 14,667 cr under extended PCGS: FM Sitharaman

Public sector banks have approved a plan for the purchase of bonds and commercial papers issued by 67 non-banking finance companies NBFCs amounting to Rs 14,667 crore under the extended Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme PCGS, Union Finance Mi...

Seoul to launch probe into allegations against late mayor

The city government of the South Korean capital, Seoul, said Wednesday it will launch an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding late Mayor Park Won-soon, who was found dead after one of his secretaries filed a compl...

Give Feedback