Jun 13, 2019

Federal watchdog recommends Kellyanne Conway be removed for Hatch Act violations

Kellyanne Conway. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Office of Special Counsel, a civil service watchdog, has determined that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act and recommended she be removed from the federal workforce.

Why it matters: 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 OSC determined that Conway violated the law by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in an official capacity during television interviews and on social media."

  • The House Oversight Committee announced that it would hold a hearing with the OSC on June 26 to review the allegations. Conway will be invited to attend.
  • "Trump should terminate Ms. Conway's employment immediately in light of these dozens of violations of federal law," Chairman Cummings said. "Allowing Ms. Conway to continue her position of trust at the W.H. would demonstrate that the President is not interested in following the law."

The other side: The White House called the OSC's report "deeply flawed" and "influenced by media pressure and liberal organizations," saying it would have "a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees."

Worth noting: The OSC is not related to former special counsel Robert Mueller's office.

Read the full report:

Go deeper

1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic is still putting a historic strain on the labor market, though the pace of unemployment applications continues to slow.

The risk asset rally continues as stock market rebounds

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Risk assets have jumped over the past week and continued their rally on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining for a fourth straight day and posting its highest close since March 4, while the Nasdaq ended the day just 1.4% below its all-time high.

What it means: If it hadn't been evident before, Wednesday's market action made clear that the bulls are back in charge.

Trump's troubles grow, spread

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is confronting the most dire political environment of his presidency, with his support dropping fast from Texas to Wisconsin, even among his base of religious and older voters. 

Why it matters: Top Republicans tell Axios that Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago.