White House Rejects House Panel’s Request for Conway’s Testimony
WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday evening told the chairman of a House committee that Kellyanne Conway, a top aide to President Donald Trump, would not testify before the panel.
Last week, a government watchdog recommended that Conway be “removed from federal service” for disparaging Democratic presidential candidates in her official capacity as a senior White House adviser.
A report by the independent U.S. Office of Special Counsel accused Conway of violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits government officials from conducting politics while acting in their capacity as a federal employee.
Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform who wants Conway to testify about the Hatch Act allegations, has put forth a resolution to subpoena her.
“In accordance with long-standing precedent, we respectfully decline the invitation to make Ms. Conway available for testimony before the committee,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to Cummings.
‘‘As you know, the precedent for members of the White House staff to decline invitations to testify before congressional committees has been consistently adhered to by administrations of both political parties, and is based on clearly established constitutional doctrines,” Cipollone said.
Trump told Fox News last week that he had no intention of firing Conway.
The White House called the report “deeply flawed” and violating Conway’s constitutional right to free speech.
Cipollone’s letter was yet another instance of the Trump administration’s refusal to cooperate with congressional inquiries led by Democrats who now control the House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week accused the president of a “campaign of blanket, unprecedented obstruction” from “witness intimidation to blanket stonewalling to spurious claims of executive privilege, absolute immunity and lack of legislative purpose.”
Alyza Sebenius contributed to this report.
©2019 Bloomberg News
Visit Bloomberg News at www.bloomberg.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
WASHINGTON - The Library of Congress may be closed due to the coronavirus, but its manuscript division has just added the digitized papers of three presidents to its online collection. The presidencies of each of the men, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, and William McKinley all... Read More
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has escalated tensions in the White House with a swift series of staff changes that have drawn complaints from some in the West Wing about his management style, according to people familiar with the matter.... Read More
PHILADELPHIA — When Deborah Birx told classmates at Carlisle High School that she planned to compete in the local science fair, some laughed. It was the early 1970s, and Birx was a pretty girl with a bubbly personality. She waitressed after school at a Carlisle drive-in... Read More
WASHINGTON — Democrats saw warning signs long before President Donald Trump nominated Neomi Rao to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. At the time, she was a White House lawyer who zealously defended Trump’s agenda. She’d clerked for Supreme Court Justice... Read More
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump issued a pardon Tuesday to Michael Milken, the disgraced former junk bond king who later became a prominent Los Angeles philanthropist, in a mass clemency to 11 convicted felons that marked a dramatic expansion of the president’s intervention in judicial matters... Read More
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s declaration last month that climate change is a “serious subject” marked the completion of a yearlong shift away from his outright denial of the global threat — a shift, according to one former aide, driven by 2020 politics. William Happer, one... Read More