As if the Nunberg circus from last night wasn’t dizzying enough, the Office of the Special Counsel (unrelated to the Mueller probe) said on Tuesday that Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act twice during cable news appearances while commenting on the Alabama special Senate election late last year.
“The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) today sent an investigative report to President Donald Trump finding that Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway violated the hatch in two television interviews,” the OSC’s press release began. “According to the report, in both instances, Conway appeared in her official capacity. In the first interview, Conway advocated against one Senate candidate and gave an implied endorsement of another candidate. In the second interview, she advocated for the defeat of one Senate candidate and the election of another candidate. Both instances constituted prohibited political activity under the Hatch Act and occurred after Conway received significant training on Hatch Act prohibitions.”
The Hatch Act, per the report, “restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including by trying to influence partisan elections.”
The first instance occurred in November on Fox & Friends, when she openly advocated for Roy Moore over Doug Jones, and the second occurred on Dec. 5 on CNN, when her appearance followed the same pattern.
It remains to be seen what discipline, if any, Trump will levy on Conway. When she seemingly violated an ethics rule by openly endorsing Ivanka Trump’s clothing line on TV in Feb. 2017, she received a slap on the wrist and a talking-to from lawyers.