Jul 15, 2019

Kellyanne Conway defies congressional subpoena

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway declined to appear at a congressional oversight hearing Monday to discuss her alleged violations of the Hatch Act, defying a subpoena as the administration claims she is "immune" from such testimonies.

What they're saying: Pat Cipollone, counsel to the president, wrote in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings that "in accordance with long-standing, bipartisan precedent, Ms. Conway cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the President."

  • The letter claims that the Department of Justice has deemed Conway "absolutely immune" from testifying.

Cummings threatened to hold Conway in contempt of Congress if she refuses to comply with the subpoena before July 25, according to Politico.

  • “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.
  • “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."

Catch up quick: In June, The Office of Special Counsel accused Conway of violating the Hatch Act by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in an official capacity during television interviews and on social media," and recommended firing her from her current role.

  • The Hatch Act is meant to prevent federal employees from influencing politics by barring them from engaging in political activities while operating in their official capacity.

Conway did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Go deeper: The Trump White House has a record of violating the Hatch Act

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Why it matters: Strzok led the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and later worked for special counsel Robert Mueller, before being transferred and later terminated after the discovery of thousands of personal text messages exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Strzok has been the target of attacks from conservatives and Trump allies who believe the Russia probe was politically motivated and part of a conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency.

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