The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday voted to testify to the White House senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, after she had not appeared at a hearing about her alleged violations of the Hatch Act, a law governing political activity of federal employees.
The committee voted 25 against 16 to get her to the panel.
All Democrats on the committee and Republican Congressman Justin Amash, who has called for deposition proceedings against President Donald Trump, voted to sue her.
Kellyanne Conway shot back at House Democrats who threatened to sue her if she doesn't appear before the House Oversight committee on Wednesday
Supervision Chairman Elijah Cummings holds a hearing on the recommendation of an independent watchdog agency to dismiss Kellyanne Conway for violating the Hatch Act
Conway was with President Trump on Wednesday morning. She saw him accompany him to his speech in the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
The Office of Special Counsel, an independent US government watchdog team, advised to fire Conway earlier this month because she repeatedly violated the Hatch Act by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.
Special Counsel Henry Kerner became a star witness for the Democrats on Wednesday when he testified that Conway was not in line with her political comments that were often made from the White House lawn during her TV appearances.
& # 39; Madam. Conway & # 39; s blatant and repeated violations of the Hatch Act, combined with its unrepentant attitude, are unacceptable from any federal employee, let's take such a prominent position, & Kerner told the panel. & # 39; Her behavior hurts both federal workers, who may think that senior officials can act with complete disdain for the Liège law and the American people, who can question the non-partisan functioning of their government. & # 39 ;
The White House has claimed that Conway did not have to testify before the committee.
White House lawyers argued that Conway, as the president's counselor, did not have to appear before the House Surveillance and Reform Commission, arguing that employees in the West Wing are not testifying to Congress, according to a long-standing precedent.
Henry Kerner, special adviser at the Office of Special Counsel, is sworn in alongside the vacant seat of the White House adviser, Kellyanne Conway, during the surveillance hearing.
Democrats left an empty seat at the hearing table to highlight Kellyanne Conway's absence
Democrats claim that the White House cannot claim a concession or immunity for Conway because they look at her personal actions and not at her duties in the West Wing.
& # 39; This is about right and wrong. This is about the core principle of our precious democracy – that no one, not one person, no one in this country is above the law & # 39 ;, said Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings in his opening statement. & # 39; Unlike claims by Mrs. Conway and President Trump, this is not a conspiracy to silence her or restrict her First Amendment rights. This is an attempt to enforce federal law. & # 39;
Republicans in the panel defended Trump's best assistant, who was also his 2016 campaign leader.
The reason we are here today is because Mr. Kerner hurt his feelings, "said Congressman Jim Jordan, a prominent alley of the president on Capitol Hill. & # 39; Kerner felt belittle. Mrs. Conway didn't pay enough attention to him and his office … Do you know why she didn't? Because the accusations were ridiculous. & # 39;
Cummings asked Conway to appear before the committee to discuss the recommendation of the independent office of Special Counsel that President Trump dismissed her for violations of the Hatch Act.
In return, Conway accused House Democrats of masking tape & # 39; wanted to throw it over her mouth with the threat to sue her if she did not appear.
& # 39; They want to throw a big roll of masking tape over my mouth & # 39 ;, she said Monday morning at & # 39; Fox & Friends & # 39 ;, and said the Democrats were angry at her role in choosing Donald Trump as his campaign leader for 2016 and her defense of him as president. .
& # 39; We think I would be the first member of the West Wing before the convention to talk about the Hatch Act, & # 39; Conway said to & # 39; Fox & Friends & # 39 ;.
& # 39; They do not like the fact that I am so effective & # 39 ;, said the White House adviser about democrats and argued that they want to calm & # 39; freedom of expression & # 39 ;.
She taunted the legislators as & # 39; a left-wing propaganda machine or provocateurs trying to arm the Hatch Act.
Henry Kerner, special adviser at the Office of Special Counsel, became a star witness for the Democrats on Wednesday
& # 39; Even if the Hatch Act applies, our position is that I did not violate it & # 39 ;, she added.
The OSC is an independent federal investigation agency that enforces the Hatch Act and is led by Trump-appointed Henry Kerner.
Two weeks ago, the OSC said Conway violated the Hatch At on numerous occasions by disparaging democratic presidential candidates as she spoke in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media. & # 39;
& # 39; Given that Mrs. Conway is a repeat offender and has shown no respect for the law, OSC recommends that she be removed from the federal service & # 39 ;, the OSC reported in a statement.
Kerner said that the decision to fire or keep Conway was in the hands of President Trump.
& # 39; We respect his decision and, of course, the president has an option he would like – to rebuke or not to rebuke, & # 39; Kerner said Fox news. & # 39; It is up to the president's discretion and we respect that. & # 39;
Trump and vice president Mike Pence are exempt from the Hatch Act, but White House employees are not.
Cummings, the powerful chair of the House Surveillance and Reform Commission, said Trump would fire her.
& # 39; Complying with the law is not optional. President Trump should immediately end Mrs. Conway's job in light of these dozens of violations of federal law, & he said in a statement after the OSC recommendation was issued.
Last month, when Conway criticized former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the field for the democratic presidential election, for his Senate record, she wiped questions if she violated the Hatch Act.
& # 39; I'm going to talk about people's data because I'm entitled to it, & # 39; she said.
When a reporter asked her if she violated federal law, she replied: & # 39; Bla, bla, bla. & # 39;
& # 39; If you try to thwart me through the Hatch Act, it won't work, & # 39; she said. & # 39; Let me know when the prison sentence starts. & # 39;
In March last year, the OSC found that Conway surpassed the Hatch Act when she was promoted then – US. Senate hopeful Roy Moore & # 39; s Alabama special election campaign.
Trump has said he is not firing Conway, who is often on television to defend the president and defeat his political rivals.
& # 39; No, I'm not going to fire her. I think she's a great person, a great spokesperson, & # 39; told the president & # 39; Fox & Friends & # 39; the day after the recommendation came out. & # 39; They have tried to take her speech and I think you are entitled to freedom of expression in the country. & # 39;
The White House also defends Conway.
& # 39; We ask that you revoke and revoke the report & # 39 ;, wrote White House Pat Cipollone in response to the administration.
. [TagsToTranslate] Dailymail