White House replies “Nah”

Oh good, another official ruling for Trump to flout and mock and disparage:

Talking Points Memo summarizes:

report attached to the statement labels Conway a “repeat offender,” and says that her violations, “if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions.”

The Hatch Act bans federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. The Office of Special Counsel is a federal watchdog agency that monitors federal employees.

The OSC report states that “If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in removal from her federal position by the Merit Systems Protection Board.”

“Her actions erode the principal foundation of our democratic system – the rule of law,” a letter prefacing the report reads.

So many actions of Trump and his administration do that. It should have been his campaign slogan – “WILL MASSACRE THE RULE OF LAW.”

Investigators cite a May 29, 2019 media appearance in which Conway appeared to downplay the law’s significance. “If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work,” Conway said. “Let me know when the jail sentence starts.”

“If you’re trying to silence me” – as if she were Solzhenitsyn or Politkovskaya rather than the publicity chief for a mob boss. She’s a hack doing a hack job for a corrupt head of state, not an embattled independent journalist trying to get the truth out.

A Trump nominee — Henry Kerner — is in charge of the OSC. “OSC respectfully requests that Ms. Conway be held to the same standards as all other federal employees, and, as such, you find removal from federal service to be appropriate disciplinary action,” Kerner wrote in the Thursday letter to Trump.

Kerner’s decision to call for Conway’s revealed a behind-the-scenes battle between the OSC and White House that appears to have been playing out over the past few weeks. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said in a June 11 letter to Kerner that a draft of the report was “based on multiple fundamental legal and factual errors, makes unfair and unsupported claims against a close adviser to the President, is the product of a blatantly unfair process that ignored statutory notice requirements, and has been influenced by various inappropriate considerations.”

In other words, how dare you try to hold Trump accountable, much less try to make him obey the rules.

How dare a reporter ask Kellyanne Conway a question? These peasants know no limits, do they.

The recommendation comes more than one year after a March 2018 finding by the same office that Conway violated the Hatch Act by advocating for Roy Moore during the 2017 Alabama special Senate election.

The March 2018 report concluded that Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act during multiple television appearances. That report cites her as saying that Trump “doesn’t want a liberal Democrat in the Senate. He wants a reliable vote for taxes, for life.” The OSC then states that after two 2017 television appearances, Conway “received Hatch Act guidance” from the White House Counsel.

But Conway continued to ignore that guidance, according to the report out Thursday.

They are our new mob monarchy. The rules don’t apply to them.

Much of Conway’s conduct cited in the report is related to the 2020 presidential election. While “promoting the President’s agenda” is consistent with her official duties, the OSC said, weighing in on the 2020 nominees is not.

The OSC castigates Conway for making comments “directed at persuading voters not to support the Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 presidential election and garnering support for the President’s candidacy.”

The report goes on to cite dozens of media appearances Conway made from February 2019 until the present. In one April 30 appearance, for example, a reporter told Conway: “You brought up Joe Biden several times unprompted. Do you guys see him–?” Conway cut the reporter off, saying “How was it unprompted? He’s the frontrunner!”

After another question, Conway called Democratic voters “sexist” and “racist” due to Biden’s popularity and that of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). The White House adviser went on to say that “two old white straight men career politicians” were ahead in polling because voters have “a problem with the rest of the field.”

The OSC also cites Conway’s use of Twitter, accusing her of “engag[ing] in a pattern of partisan attacks on several Democratic Party candidates shortly after they announced” their campaigns. Those attacked include Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Conway accused Warren of “lying” about her ethnicity in one interview, for example, and referred to the Democratic presidential field as “woodchips.”

The report also cites Conway’s tweets calling Biden “Creepy Uncle Joe.”

But none of that applies, because [see above].

Towards the end of the report, the OSC describes why “Conway’s conduct warrants her removal.”

Calling the Hatch Act violations “persistent, notorious, and deliberate,” the OSC says that her conduct has “created an unprecedented challenge to this office’s ability to enforce the Act.”

“She has willfully and openly disregarded the law in full public view,” the report reads.

Well it’s no fun if you do it in secret.

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