The U.S. Office of Special Counsel said it is opening a case to address allegations that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act.
Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, tweeted he received an email from the chief of the Office of Special Counsel’s Hatch Act Unit about the opening of a case file.
“We have received your Hatch Act complaint and will open a case file to address this matter,” Ana Galindo-Marrone, the chief of the Office of Special Counsel’s Hatch Act Unit, said in an email early Wednesday.
The Office of Special Counsel did not reply to multiple requests for comment from the Washington Examiner.
Shaub said last week he had filed a complaint alleging Conway violated the Hatch Act — a law that prohibits federal employees from using their offices to campaign for or against political candidates — when she criticized Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones during an appearance on Fox News.
“Folks, don’t be fooled. He’ll be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime. Weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners,” Conway said. “And Doug Jones is a doctrinaire liberal, which is why he’s not saying anything and why the media are trying to boost him.”
Co-host Brian Kilmeade then asked her, “So, vote Roy Moore?”
“I’m telling you, we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” Conway responded about voting for Republican candidate Roy Moore, who is currently embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal.
Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, has also said Conway violated federal law.
“This is an official interview. She has violated the Hatch Act by using her position to take sides in a partisan election. That is a firing offense. And for her this is strike two,” Richard Painter tweeted in response to Shaub’s original tweet that he had filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel.
White House spokesman Raj Shah responded last week with a statement, saying, “Ms. Conway did not advocate for or against the election of a candidate, and specifically declined to encourage Alabamans to vote a certain way. She was speaking about issues and her support for the President’s agenda. This election is for the people of Alabama to decide.”