Liberal watchdog group: Kellyanne Conway ‘must resign or be fired immediately’

June 17, 2019

An “independent watchdog” is looking to get Kellyanne Conway fired.

The George Soros-funded Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) launched a petition to have the White House adviser step down Saturday, days after a federal agency recommended that Conway lose her job over alleged violations of the Hatch Act.

“Based on CREW complaints, the Office of Special Counsel has found that Kellyanne Conway’s repeated violations of the Hatch Act by using her official position for partisan purposes warrant her removal from federal service,” the group said in its petition. “Conway must resign or be fired immediately.”

Conway in the crossfire

The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from commenting on politics and campaigns on the job. Violations of the 1939 law can come with fines or termination, but in practice, the statute is seldom and, it would seem, lopsidedly enforced.

A second complaint from CREW over Conway’s Hatch Act violations led to an unprecedented decision last week by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) — a federal agency not to be confused with Robert Mueller’s office — to ask Trump to fire Conway. It was the first time the office had ever recommended the firing of a White House employee.

In a 17-page report, the agency’s chief, Henry Kerner, singled out Conway as the worst case of Hatch Act violations he had ever seen and warned that letting her off the hook would impinge on the rule of law.

“As a highly visible member of the administration, Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” Kerner wrote. “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.”

The agency went on to accuse Conway of mixing politics with business by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.” The OSC’s report singled out Conway’s jibes about 2020 Democrats, including comments that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is “sexist” and that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) lied about her Native American heritage.

Conway is known for her combative approach with reporters and fiery commentary on Trump’s foes. The OSC previously found that Conway violated the Hatch Act in March 2018 after she weighed in on Roy Moore’s doomed bid for a vacated Alabama Senate seat.

Attacks on the GOP

In launching its petition against Conway, CREW described the OSC as finding the White House adviser’s behavior to be “unprecedented,” “egregious,” “ongoing,” “notorious,” and “unacceptable.” As of Monday,  the petition had than 24,000 signatures, about 2,000 less than its goal.

CREW is part of the advocacy network of Clinton insider and Media Matters founder David Brock. The progressive group, which appears to mask its political activity with an independent-sounding name, mostly targets conservative and Republican figures. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the group shares employees with Media Matters and has been funded by progressive billionaire George Soros.

The Hill describes CREW as “a nonprofit accountability watchdog organization.” But while both the OSC and CREW are nominally “nonpartisan” groups, Republicans have questioned their motives.

White House fights back

The White House fired back at Kerner’s recommendation to have Trump fire Conway last week, accusing his office of a politically motivated attempt to attack a member of Trump’s staff and deny Conway her First Amendment right to free speech. President Donald Trump himself also stood by Conway, saying Friday, “I’m not going to fire her.”

In a statement Thursday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves added: “The Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) unprecedented actions against Kellyanne Conway are deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process. Others, of all political views, have objected to the OSC’s unclear and unevenly applied rules which have a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees.”

The progressive effort to take out Conway follows a pattern of leftist gaslighting in the Trump era: progressive groups have taken to attacking conservative figures and organizations in the name of feigned concern for the rule of law. For example, the Democrats have justified their continued attempt to re-do  Mueller’s investigation as an urgent corrective to the so-called “constitutional crisis” ushered in by Trump.

But Dems’ efforts are so far failing, and with the Justice Department now aggressively “investigating the investigators” who started the infamous Trump-Russia probe, it looks like the losses are just going to keep piling up for those on the left.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.