Just In: Kellyanne Conway Charged with Violating Federal Law


The former head of Trump’s Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, has lodged a formal complaint that Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s top aide, violated the Hatch Act when she discouraged Alabamans from voting for the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones.

During an interview earlier this week on Fox and Friends, Conway called Jones “weak on crime,” “weak on borders,” and “terrible for property owners.” Pressed on whether she was endorsing Moore, she never answered directly but suggested his vote was needed to advance Trump administration priorities

I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.

According to Politico, she stood on the White House’s North Lawn with the executive mansion in the background when she spoke—implying that she spoke with the authority of the White House.

White House spokesman Raj Shah tried to spin it this way:

Ms. Conway did not advocate for or against the election of a candidate, and specifically declined to encourage Alabamans to vote a certain way. She was speaking about issues and her support for the president’s agenda. This election is for the people of Alabama to decide.

Outside the White House on Tuesday as was heading to Florida for Thanksgiving, Trump made similar comments. However, the Hatch Act—which limits political involvement by federal employees—does not apply to elected officials like the president or vice president.

However, Shaub noted that the ban on partisan political activity does cover senior administration officials when they are speaking in their official capacity or using their official titles. She was introduced on Fox as “counselor to the president.

Shaub—now a senior director for ethics with the Campaign Legal Center—compared the situation to an Obama administration incident last year in which Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro spoke during an interview about Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning and his own chances of being named as her running mate.

The Office of Special Counsel concluded that Castro had violated the Hatch Act because the interview was arranged through official channels and devoted to policy topics, and because he appeared to be speaking in his official capacity.