November 25, 2017
A former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics filed a formal ethics complaint against White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway this week, saying that the South Jersey native violated federal ethics law when she lambasted Alabama's Democratic Senate candidate on Fox News.
Walter Shaub, the country's ethics director for four years under former President Barack Obama, tweeted earlier this week that he filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates violations of the Hatch Act.
I have filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations. https://t.co/Mrm8al9nZz— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 22, 2017
In an interview with "Fox and Friends" on Monday morning, Conway said Democratic Candidate Doug Jones "will be a vote against tax cuts."
"Doug Jones in Alabama? Folks, don't be fooled," she said. "He is weak on crime. Weak on borders. He is strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners."
Conway also danced around the question of whether she supports Moore, the embattled Republican candidate who has fought back against allegations from several women of sexual misconduct or sexual assault.
"I'm telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through," she responded. "If the media were really concerned about all these allegations and that's what this was truly about in the Democrats, Al Franken would be in the trash heap of bygone, half-funny comedians. He wouldn't be here in Capitol Hill. He still has his job.
"What's [Democratic New Jersey Senator] Bob Menendez doing back here? That's the best my state of New Jersey can do?"
Shaub pointed to an official finding in 2016 that former Housing of Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro ran afoul of the Hatch Act "by advocating for and against Presidential candidates" in an interview with Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric.
"I found the video. She’s standing In front of the White House. It seems pretty clear she was appearing in her official capacity when she advocated against a candidate," Shaub tweeted. "This is at least as clear a violation of 5 U.S.C. § 7323(a)(1) as OSC identified with regard to Castro."
I found the video. She’s standing In front of the White House. It seems pretty clear she was appearing in her official capacity when she advocated against a candidate. This is at least as clear a violation of 5 U.S.C. § 7323(a)(1) as OSC identified with regard to Castro. pic.twitter.com/EwTwPriaVX— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 21, 2017
Was she identified by her official title while advocating against that candidate? Has OSC commented on what she did? (e.g., “violated the Hatch Act by advocating for and against . . . candidates while giving a media interview”) pic.twitter.com/qYpa0eXxFZ— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 21, 2017
We should doubt our lying ears that heard Conway advocate against Doug Jones’ Senate bid? The White House assures us she was merely championing the President’s policy position. In a way, that makes sense if you count the President’s Doug-Jones-Should-Not-Be-A-Senator policy. https://t.co/oXsUk9yjzX— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 24, 2017
This is an official interview. She has violated the Hatch Act by using her position to take sides in a partisan election. That is a firing offense. And for her this is strike two. https://t.co/U4kjbLu4NT— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) November 22, 2017
Agree. Rampant illegality. OSC has twice found Hatch violations vs Trump admin, but ordered no penalties. This time OSC must sanction—message is not sticking! https://t.co/e6TqrkLf1P— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) November 22, 2017
Conway was critical of Moore in another "Fox & Friends" interview last week.
"There's no Senate seat that's worth more than a child," she said. "I have three daughters and a son. Frankly, we are all watching this."
The Washington Post published a report based off more than 30 interviews earlier this month that alleged Moore pursued relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s. One woman told The Post that Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14 years old.
Several women came forward with similar allegations after the report was published, including one woman who claimed Moore started flirting with her when she was 15 and sexually assaulted her when she was 16.
Moore has denied the accusations.