Federal officials at the Office of the Special Counsel have been making a lot more noise about the Hatch Act since President Donald Trump took office.
The Office of the Special Counsel — which is unrelated to Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller — recommended that President Trump remove Kellyanne Conway from her position as special counsel to the president.
Conway led President Trump’s 2016 campaign, making her the first woman to successfully lead a presidential campaign to victory.
She was called out by the Office of the Special Counsel for violating the Hatch Act, which declares that public employees cannot campaign for a political candidate while serving in their official role.
The Office of the Special Counsel claimed that Conway has repeatedly campaigned for candidates while speaking from her public position as an adviser to the president and should be removed from her position.
Conway brushed off the removal recommendation, as did Trump, who told Fox News, “It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech and that’s just not fair.”
Trump said he would not be firing Conway anytime soon, noting, “No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a terrific person.”
While Conway has been dodging bullets from the Office of Special Counsel, they seemed much more forgiving when former President Barack Obama was in the White House.
As the Washington Examiner noted, two of his cabinet members breached the Hatch Act and received nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
Former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro — who is a current Democratic presidential primary contender — claimed that Hillary Clinton was “going to make a great president” during an official interview as HUD Secretary.
The Office of the Special Counsel chalked his remark up to confusion, claiming he got “mixed” up during an official interview when he made the remark.
As IJR Red previously reported, Castro got called out for his Hatch violation during a Fox News town hall, but he claimed his Hatch Act violation was different because Conway has continued to make comments. He claimed she should be fired.
Castro was not the only Obama cabinet member to violate the Hatch Act. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was also called out by the Office of the Special Counsel.
Sebelius told the crowd at an official event that it was “hugely important to make sure that we reelect the president and elect a Democratic governor.”
The Office of the Special Counsel claimed that Sebelius slipped up when making “extemporaneous” remarks at an official event and didn’t recommend any punishment.
For now, it appears as though Conway is safe from the Office of the Special Counsel with President Trump remaining in her corner.