Congress

In bashing Biden, did Kellyanne Conway break the law again?

Sen. Tom Carper seeks Hatch Act view of White House adviser's public statements about Biden

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway is being accused of violating the Hatch Act, again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Thomas R. Carper is requesting a formal review of whether senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has again violated the federal law that’s intended “to prevent pernicious political activities.”

In question this time is whether Conway’s public statements, including from the White House lawn, about a potential 2020 foe of President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., ran afoul of the Hatch Act — which limits political speech by federal employees, especially while on official time.

“You want to revisit this the way Joe Biden wants to revisit, respectfully, because he doesn’t want to be held to account for his record or lack thereof. And I found his announcement video to be unfortunate, certainly a missed opportunity. But also just very dark and spooky, in that it’s taking us, he doesn’t have a vision for the future,” Carper quoted Conway as having said during an April 27 CNN interview.

Carper, a Democrat from Delaware and the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has made several similiar requests of the Office of Special Counsel. And the special counsel’s office has determined that senior Trump administration officials have broken the rules before.

And that includes Conway herself.

“According to your office, Ms. Conway herself has already violated the Hatch Act on at least two separate occasions during discussions of the candidates in the 2017 Alabama special election for U.S. Senate,” Carper wrote. “These actions demonstrate a troubling lack of concern with Hatch Act compliance on the part of the Trump Administration; instead, senior government officials appear free to use their office to influence political elections regardless of the law.”

In addition to Conway, Carper cited examples of offenses by former social media director Dan Scavino and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

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