Conway abuses position for political, private gain
U.S. citizens like to think that the law applies to everyone. If a criminal act is committed, a person should be punished regardless of who they are. Lawbreakers of any stature have no choice but to answer to justice. Either that, or they can just work for President Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, March 6, the Office of the Special Counsel, instead of Robert Mueller, issued a report saying that White House aide, Kellyanne Conway, violated the Hatch Act. Last year, during the captivating Alabama special election, Conway broke the law twice by “advocating for and against candidates.” The longtime Trump employee championed for alleged child molester Roy Moore on CNN and Fox News, while denigrating his opponent Doug Jones.
Conway is not the first Trump associate to face official criticism over violating the Hatch Act. She is the latest rule breaker to join the club that also contains White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino Jr. and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
It is not the first time Conway has been in hot water for abusing her White House position for political or personal gain. She is a repeat offender with seemingly no regard for the laws that are set to prevent federal employees from doing what she is doing. The OSC’s report says that Conway “impermissibly mixed official government business with political views” regarding her television appearances before the special election. Make no mistake: Conway has been found guilty of breaking federal law.
The OSC is referring to Trump to determine what becomes of her. He has the power to choose whether to suspend, fine, terminate or even debar Conway from federal employment for the next five years. He can also choose to do nothing. Given Trump’s natural proclivity to do nothing and his complete disregard for the law as Mueller will soon attest to, this should come as no surprise. The White House has already pushed back on the report, issuing a statement that basically refutes everything the Hatch Act stands for. The White House claimed that Conway was not advocating “against the election of any particular candidate,” yet she repeatedly used words such as “weak” and “terrible” to describe Jones’ stance on certain issues.
It is clear that the well-known aide used her official authority to attack a candidate and promote another in hopes of influencing the election not once, but twice. The OSC concluded Conway’s punishment, or lack thereof, will be handed down by Trump. If the White House statement is any indication, Conway will be back in no time.
Even a symbolic slap on the wrist would be too much for a member of the Trump administration. Instead, they will continue to get away with their crimes as long as Trump is in power. By dismissing the OSC’s findings, the White House is rendering the Hatch Act and all ethical laws virtually meaningless.
It is easy to think that this is the new norm for the United States, but it is not. Eventually, this presidency will end and things will return back to normal. In fact, it may all happen sooner rather than later.