UPDATE: The White House has released a statement in defense of Conway.
"In fact, Kellyanne’s statements actually show her intention and desire to comply with the Hatch Act – as she twice declined to respond to the host’s specific invitation to encourage Alabamans to vote for the Republican." Statement attributed to @hogangidley45 https://t.co/gtu8iTXUXA— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) March 6, 2018
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is charging that White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway has violated the Hatch Act after appearing to publicly endorse a Senate candidate last year.
The office is pointing to two questionable appearances Conway made on Fox News and CNN last year in which she urged voters in the Alabama Senate election to support Republican Roy Moore over Democrat Doug Jones. Under the Hatch Act, federal employees are prohibited from engaging in partisan politics.
The office said that on November 20, Conway appeared in her official capacity on Fox News's Fox & Friends "and discussed why voters should not support Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate."
"On December 6, 2017, Conway appeared in her official capacity on CNN's New Day and discussed why voters should support Republican Roy Moore and not Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate," the office said. (CNBC)
Because she appeared both times in her "official capacity," she is in violation of the law, the office charged.
The full letter is below.
Office of Special Counsel notifies President Trump of investigative report that Kellyanne Conway violated federal law under Hatch Act:— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) March 6, 2018
"Ms. Conway’s statements during the Fox & Friends and New Day interviews impermissibly mixed official government business with political views" pic.twitter.com/HuMbNcBTst
Jones ended up winning the controversial Senate race, becoming the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992. Moore's campaign had been consumed for weeks with sexual assault allegations against the former chief justice.
The office has recommended Conway to President Trump, who will decide if her behavior demands disciplinary action.