CBS News reports:
The former director of the Office of Government Ethics is suggesting that Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, likely violated the Hatch Act by attacking Roy Moore’s Democratic opponent in a TV interview.
Walter Shaub tweeted Wednesday that he has filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which he said investigates Hatch Act violations. Under the Hatch Act, federal government employees may not use their official title “while engaged in political activity.”
The Hatch Act prohibits most executive branch federal employees from taking “any active part” in political campaigns while they’re acting in an official capacity. The president and vice president are exempt from Hatch Act restrictions, but White House staff like Conway are subject to them.
During a Monday appearance on Fox and 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 weak on crime. Weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners,” Conway said. “I just want everybody to know Doug Jones, nobody ever says his name and pretends he is some kind of conservative Democrat in Alabama. And he’s not.”
I found the video. She’s standing In front of the White House. It seems pretty clear she was appearing in her official capacity when she advocated against a candidate. This is at least as clear a violation of 5 U.S.C. § 7323(a)(1) as OSC identified with regard to Castro. pic.twitter.com/EwTwPriaVX
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 21, 2017
This is an official interview. She has violated the Hatch Act by using her position to take sides in a partisan election. That is a firing offense. And for her this is strike two. https://t.co/U4kjbLu4NT
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) November 22, 2017