White House aide Kellyanne Conway broke federal law when she urged Alabama voters to support failed Senate candidate Roy Moore’s campaign during cable news interviews, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced Tuesday.
In a statement, the office said Conway violated the Hatch Act—which bars high-level staffers of the executive branch from engaging in political activity—by appearing in her official capacity on both Fox News and CNN to offer her “implied endorsement” of Moore while also advocating against his opponent, Doug Jones.
It’s not the first time Conway has landed in ethical hot water as a member of the Trump administration. Questions were raised as to whether she violated federal ethics laws when she hawked Ivanka Trump’s fashion line on the air last February, telling Fox News viewers to go “buy Ivanka’s stuff” after Nordstrom said it was dropping her line. After that incident—criticism of which Conway brushed off as “uninformed chatter”—the White House said she had been “counseled” about her actions.
After the report was released, the White House said in a statement that Conway wasn’t advocating for any candidate but was instead “simply express[ing] the president’s obvious position that he have people in the House and Senate who support his agenda.”
The news also comes just about a week after Jared Kushner—perhaps the most ethically murky member of an administration borne of The Swamp—also may have violated the Hatch Act when he was identified by his official White House title in materials praising the appointment of Trump’s 2020 campaign manager.
Although the Office of Special Counsel statement noted the report on Conway’s actions was submitted to the president for disciplinary action, if the past is any indication, it’s not worth holding your breath for anything more severe than another slap on the wrist.