The White House will most likely not allow Kellyanne Conway to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee this week due to alleged Hatch Act violations.
The administration cited “long-standing precedent” in a letter to the committee’s chairman Elijah Cummings, outlining their reasons for not allowing Conway to sit for an interview with the panel’s members.
The administration’s move came shortly before the committee was to hold a vote on Wednesday to issue a subpoena to Conway should she refuse to appear voluntarily.
President Donald Trump and his administration have so far refused to allow any aides and close allies of the President to comply with Democrats’ requests for testimonies, stonewalling their subpoenas.
Conway was invited to appear before the panel on Wednesday alongside a representative from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which recommended in a report that Conway be fired over multiple violations of the Hatch Act, The Hill reports. The Act prohibits federal officials from weighing in on elections in their official capacity.
According to the report, Conway violated the Hatch Act when she expressed critical opinions of 2020 Democratic candidates. Her previous comments about the 2017 special U.S. Senate election in Alabama were likewise in violation of the law.
Both she and the White House have dismissed the watchdog’s findings, saying that they were a mere attempt to squelch her First Amendment rights, arguing that she did not violate the law. The President has refused to fire her.
Moreover, Conway said in a Monday interview that the Hatch Act did not apply to her, reiterating the assertion that she had not violated it and maintained that Democrats were trying to silence her. But she made no mention of possible plans to testify.
“We think I’d be the first member of the West Wing to ever be hauled in front of Congress to talk about the Hatch Act,” Conway said of the potential testimony.