Former ethics czar files Hatch Act complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway

The former director of the Office of Government Ethics said Wednesday of which White House counselor Kellyanne Conway likely violated the Hatch Act when she attacked Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones during a recent interview on Fox News.

Walter Shaub, who right now leads the ethics practice at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, later wrote the he had filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. OSC is usually the Justice Department agency responsible for conducting Hatch Act investigations.

“She’s standing In front of the White House. of which seems pretty clear she was appearing in her official capacity when she advocated against a candidate. This specific is usually at least as clear a violation of 5 U.S.C. § 7323(a)(1) as OSC identified with regard to Castro,” wrote Shaub on Twitter, referring to an official finding in 2016 of which then-Secretary of Housing along with Urban Development Julian Castro had violated the law.

The Hatch Act prohibits most executive branch federal employees through taking “any active part” in political campaigns while they’re acting in an official capacity. The president along with vice president are exempt through Hatch Act restrictions, although White House staff like Conway are subject to them.

During a Monday appearance on Fox along with Friends, Conway answered a question about Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual assault of a minor, by pivoting to attack Moore’s opponent in next month’s special election.

“Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don’t be fooled. He will be a vote against tax cuts. He is usually weak on crime. Weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He is usually terrible for property owners,” Conway said. “I just want everybody to know Doug Jones, nobody ever says his name along with pretends he is usually some kind of conservative Democrat in Alabama. along with he’s not.”

Shortly after Shaub tweeted about the complaint, another former White House ethics czar agreed of which Conway appears to have crossed the line. Richard Painter served as director of the Office of Government Ethics under former President George W. Bush, along with is usually a frequent critic of the Trump administration’s ethics practices.

Reached for comment, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Conway had been speaking about issues, not about whether or not people should vote for Jones.

“Ms. Conway did not advocate for or against the election of a candidate, along with specifically declined to encourage Alabamans to vote a certain way. She was speaking about issues along with her support for the President’s agenda. This specific election is usually for the people of Alabama to decide,” Shah told CNBC.

This specific is usually not the 1st time of which Conway has been the subject of an ethics complaint. Earlier This specific year, she was officially “counseled” on federal ethics rules after she used her official platform to promote Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. Government employees are largely prohibited through promoting private businesses during performance of their official duties.

“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is usually what I would likely say. I hate shopping – I’m going to buy stuff today,” Conway said on Fox along with Friends in February. “of which’s a wonderful line. I own some of of which. I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy of which today, everybody. You can find of which online.”

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