Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has refused to show up for a hearing before the House Oversight Committee to answer questions about her intentional (and loud, and sneering) violations of the Hatch Act, despite a congressional subpoena demanding her appearance. Another day, another big screw you from the White House to Congress.
As TPM reports, the Trump White House has created another all-encompassing form of immunity for Conway. Trump attorney Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings claiming that Conway enjoys “constitutional immunity.” Under this theory, an adviser to Trump can’t be forced to testify before Congress on any matter related to the government. Even if that matter is her own obvious, repeated, and public violation of a federal law. To make matters even more fun, Cipollone dispatched his letter to the House only 15 minutes before the slated time for Conway’s testimony, after the Oversight Committee had assembled in the hearing room.
Chairman Cummings provided a reply, saying that Conway “has repeatedly and flagrantly abused her position of trust.” He cites instances in which Conway traveled on the taxpayer’s dime for no apparent government purpose, her use of a supposedly official press event to promote Ivanka Trump’s pricey costume jewelry line, and the recommendation from the Office of the Special Counsel that Conway be fired for her flagrant and repeated violations of the Hatch Act.
Cummings called the immunity claim on behalf of Conway “completely baseless,” noting that multiple officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations have appeared before the Oversight Committee. That includes a number of Trump officials who appeared before January, when Democrats took control of the House.
As the chairman notes, and the special counsel describes, what Conway has done is absolutely illegal. Conway hasn’t even attempted to deny her failure to follow the law, but has instead mocked the authority of anyone to enforce that law. And now the whole White House is engaged in another cover-up designed to protect Conway from facing the consequences of clearly illegal activity.
While Conway may not have time to answer questions before Congress, she apparently does have time for … other things.
“What’s your ethnicity?” Man I’m writing as fast as I can here and I can’t keep up with this shit https://t.co/64NnFve2Zg
— Adam Serwer🍝 (@AdamSerwer) July 16, 2019