WASHINGTON – White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is expected to skip a House hearing Monday on whether she violated a law prohibiting administration officials from engaging in political work while on the public payroll, according to two Republican congressional officials.
Conway is the only witness listed for a scheduled hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee titled “Violations of the Hatch Act Under the Trump Administration.” The Democratic-controlled panel voted last month to authorize a subpoena for her testimony.
The government’s independent Office of Special Counsel said in June that Conway had repeatedly violated the law and should be fired. She refused on Monday to answer questions about whether she would show up for the hearing, but two GOP officials said they don’t expect her to testify.
A spokesman for the committee, Aryele Bradford, said that as of early Monday afternoon the panel had not heard anything official from the White House about whether Conway would appear.
Conway and the White House have criticized the Office of Special Counsel for its finding, calling it a violation of Conway’s First Amendment rights, and President Donald Trump has said he won’t fire her.
The OSC has said she broke the law by “engaging in both official and political activity on her Twitter account, @kellyannePolls” and by attacking Democratic presidential candidates in media interviews.
Conway has “ignored OSC’s requests” to come into compliance with the Hatch Act and has declined to respond to the office’s reports, it said.
“If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in removal from her federal position,” the office said in a June 13 letter to Trump.
The oversight panel’s top Republican, Jim Jordan of Ohio, called the allegations “ridiculous.” He said it’s that federal employees can’t come to work and hand out election fliers or raise money for campaigns, “but a senior adviser to the president of the United States can sure as heck go on cable news shows and answer questions.”