This morning, the US Office of Special Counsel (nothing to do with Robert Mueller or his Special Counsel probe) announced its conclusion that Donald Trump’s White House adviser Kellyanne Conway should be fired for her violations of the Hatch Act. This was bad news for Kellyanne, and certainly embarrassing, if she’s capable of feeling shame – but it wasn’t going to actually get her fired. Then things got way worse for her.
Donald Trump isn’t going to fire one of his own people for breaking the law; he generally encourages his people to break the law. And to be clear, the Hatch Act isn’t the kind of law that comes with a criminal punishment such as a prison sentence; the worst that could even possibly happen to Kellyanne is a monetary fine or the loss of her job. But then the House Democrats got involved.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings announced that he’s holding a hearing on June 26th in order to investigate and expose Kellyanne Conway’s Hatch Act violations. Cummings is inviting Kellyanne to show up and defend herself if she likes, but either way the star witness will be a representative from the US Office of Special Counsel.
Again, Kellyanne Conway isn’t going to end up in prison or anything for violating the Hatch Act; it’s not that kind of law. But the House Oversight Committee is about to turn her violations into a huge scandal for Donald Trump and his White House, at a time when they’re already fending off far too many criminal scandals. Could this hearing prompt Trump to decide that Kellyanne needs to go, or prompt her to give up and resign? We’ll see. But Sarah Huckabee Sanders – who has also violated the Hatch Act – announced her resignation barely an hour after the Kellyanne hearing was announced. Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report