Kellyanne Conway Defies Subpoena To Testify On Her Hatch Act Violations Before House Panel
White House Counsellor Kellyanne Conway defied a congressional subpoena on Monday when she refused to appear before the House Oversight Committee to testify on her alleged violations of the Hatch Act.
In a letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted the Trump administration’s view that all current and former presidential advisors are “absolutely immune” to congressional testimony, saying, “Ms. Conway cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the president.”
“Because of this constitutional immunity, and in order to protect the prerogatives of the Office of the President, the president has directed Ms. Conway not to appear at the committee’s scheduled hearing,” Cipollone continued.
This move outraged the House panel, and Cummings is threatening to hold Conway in contempt of Congress if she doesn’t testify before July 25. “This is a clear cut case. We are not requiring her to testify about advice she gave the president or about the White House’s policy decisions,” Cummings said before adjourning Monday’s hearing.
“We are requiring her to testify before Congress about her multiple violations of federal law, her waste of taxpayer funds, and her actions that compromise public confidence in the integrity of the federal government,” he added.
Conway has been accused by the Office of Special Counsel (an entity with no relation to Special Counsel Robert Mueller), a government watchdog that has claimed Conway used her official White House role to discuss matters relating to the president’s reelection campaign, which is against federal law. The agency has recommended that she be fired.
Conway is the latest in a series of White House officials who have refused to appear before various House panels. As committees such as the House Judiciary Committee, the House Intelligence Committee, and the House Financial Committee all delve deeper into the history of President Donald Trump, the have been met with increasing resistance from the administration. Officials such as Attorney General William Barr, former aide Hope Hicks, and former White House Counsel Donald McGahn have all defied congressional subpoenas for their testimony, forcing the House panels to seek enforcement of the orders through the judicial system.