As he has done with multiple staffers, former lawyers, Cabinet members, and various people connected to his administration, Donald Trump ordered his senior advisor Kellyanne Conway to ignore a subpoena from House Democrats to come testify about her multiple ongoing violations of the Hatch Act, the law which precludes her from using her official position as a White House employee to make political statements, thereby giving the impression that her own political opinions are the official position of the United States government.
The House Oversight Committee, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, issued the subpoena last month after Mrs. Conway refused to appear of her own volition, citing the same nonexistent “executive privilege” that White House counsel Pat Cipollone has invoked in his current letter to the panel informing them that she once again would not be appearing.
Cummings gaveled the hearing without Conway for a brief time, to discuss when they might set a business meeting to hold a contempt vote for her. That vote will take place next Thursday, barring some communication from her that she intends to appear before the committee.
We hope Ms. Conway will reconsider. Our goal is to hear from Ms. Conway. If she does not change course, we have no choice but to hold her accountable.”
The White House has repeatedly asserted “immunity” for those closest to the President, in what they claim is the same sort of privilege that an attorney enjoys with a client — in one case with Trump’s actual lawyer, Don McGahn, and in the other highest-profile example, his former communications director Hope Hicks, who is said to essentially “know where all the skeletons are buried” when it comes to the Trump 2016 campaign and their foreign dealings.
There is no established case law, however, regarding executive privilege for advisors or staffers, and McGahn served Trump as part of his job within the federal government, not in a personal capacity.
In a worst-case scenario for Mrs. Conway, Democrats could technically have the DC police effect an arrest.
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