White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway defied the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena on Monday by refusing to show up to a hearing about her alleged Hatch Act violations.
Pat Cipollone, President Donald Trump’s counsel, explained Conway’s absence in a letter to Oversight Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) by citing “constitutional immunity.”
Cipollone argued that Conway “cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the President,” which is why Trump “has directed Ms. Conway not to appear at the Committee’s scheduled hearing.”
Cummings blasted Cipollone’s claim as “completely baseless” in a statement.
“We are not requiring her to testify about advice she gave the President or about the White House’s policy decisions,” Cummings said. “We are requiring her to testify before Congress about her multiple violations of federal law, her waste of taxpayer funds, and her actions that compromise public confidence in the integrity of the federal government.”
The committee voted to subpoena Conway in late June when she skipped the testimony.
Democrats on the committee are investigating Conway’s alleged violations of the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.
The Office of Special Counsel accused the senior adviser of violating the Hatch Act multiple times and even recommended that she be fired in June. However, Trump said that he has no plans to fire his “loyal” staffer.