March 6 (UPI) — The Office of the Special Counsel determined Tuesday that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act when she discouraged voters from supporting a Democratic candidate last year.
The independent watchdog office said Conway acted improperly when she used her official White House position to advocate against then-candidate Doug Moore in Alabama’s special election for the Senate seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions.
She told Fox News and CNN the administration didn’t want Jones in office because Republicans would lose votes.
“Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don’t be fooled. He will be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime, weak on borders. He is strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners,” she said on Fox and Friends.
In December, she told CNN, “The only endorsement that matters in this race is President Trump’s.”
“And he came out questioning the ideology and the vote of Doug Jones. He’ll be a reliable vote for tax hikes. He’ll be a reliable vote against border security. He’ll be a reliable vote against national security and keeping [the Islamic State] in retreat. He’ll be the reliable vote against the Second Amendment and against life.”
The OSC said both instances were prohibited even though she underwent training on Hatch Act prohibitions.
“While the Hatch Act allows federal employees to express their views about candidates and political issues as private citizens, it restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including by trying to influence partisan elections,” the report says. “In passing this law, Congress intended to promote public confidence in the Executive branch by ensuring the federal government is working for all Americans without regard to their political views.”
The OSC said it referred its findings to the president for disciplinary actions.