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Kellyanne Conway. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee will vote on Wednesday to authorize a subpoena for White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for testimony connected to her violations of the Hatch Act if she does not voluntarily show up to the committee's hearing.

Context: The Hatch Act bars federal employees from engaging in political activity that could influence the results of an election while operating in their official capacity. The Office of Special Counsel, a civil service watchdog, determined earlier this month that Conway violated the Hatch Act by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in an official capacity during television interviews and on social media," and recommended she be removed from office.

What they're saying:

  • Following the release of the OSC report, House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a statement: "Trump should terminate Ms. Conway's employment immediately in light of these dozens of violations of federal law. Allowing Ms. Conway to continue her position of trust at the White House would demonstrate that the President is not interested in following the law."
  • The White House, meanwhile, has dismissed the allegations: "OSC’s draft report is based on multiple fundamental legal and factual errors, makes unfair and unsupported claims against a close adviser to the president, is the product of a blatantly unfair process that ignored statutory notice requirements, and has been influenced by various inappropriate considerations."
  • The White House notified House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings in a letter Monday that Conway would not be testifying at the hearing.

The big picture: Conway would be the fourth current or former White House official to be subpoenaed by a Democratic committee in 2019. The others are former White House counsel Don McGahn, former deputy counsel Annie Donaldson and former communications director Hope Hicks.

Memo to Oversight members:

Go deeper

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Elon Musk: Autopilot feature wasn't enabled in fatal Texas crash

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that "data logs recovered so far" show the car's Autopilot feature was not enabled — and it did not have access to "full self-driving mode" — in the deadly crash in Texas involving the company's electric vehicle.

Background: Local investigators said they believed the car was operating without anyone in the driver's seat. At the time of death, one man was in the passenger seat, while another was in the rear seat, KPRC 2 reports.