Absolutely immune

Also Kellyanne Conway: she ignored a subpoena.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday said she was “taking one for the team” by defying a House subpoena compelling her to testify on her multiple violations of the Hatch Act.

“They’re trying to silence me and take away my First Amendment rights,” she said in an interview on Fox News of her decision to skip the House Oversight hearing for which she received a subpoena to attend. “I would be happy to testify, just so we’re clear. I have nothing to hide. I have done nothing wrong.”

It’s not a “First Amendment right” to use your job in the White House for campaign purposes, just as it’s not a “First Amendment right” to lie under oath or to commit fraud via spam.

Last month, Conway was cited by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency that oversees Hatch Act compliance, for multiple violations of the 1939 law that prohibits government employees from participating in political speech while performing their official duties. Conway was cited for speaking in her official capacity about both the 2020 election and 2017’s special Senate election in Alabama.

In a letter to House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Conway would be skipping the hearing. The Justice Department “has advised me that Ms. Conway is absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser” to Trump, he told the committee.

If that’s true (which of course is disputed) then it’s example #759,365 of how “checks and balances” are a joke. Congress is supposed to be able to oversee the executive branch, so if people like Conway have absolute immunity from being questioned about violations of law, Congress can’t do the thing it’s supposed to be able to do. Checks and balances? Not that anyone can see.

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