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White House Blocks Kellyanne Conway From Testifying Before House Panel

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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The Trump administration said Monday that it will block Kellyanne Conway from testifying Wednesday before a House panel about alleged Hatch Act violations.

The White House counsel sent a letter to House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings saying that Conway will not appear before the committee Wednesday, citing “long-standing precedent,” The Hill reported.

Democrats had threatened to subpoena Conway if she didn’t appear before the committee Wednesday to testify about allegations made by the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) that she violated Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from engaging in political activity while working in an official capacity. (RELATED: House Oversight Committee Threatens Kellyanne Conway With Subpoena)

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway walks up to the media after appearing on a morning talk show on the North Lawn of the White House, on June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Conway has been under fire for allegedly violating the Hatch Act. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 24: White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway walks up to the media after appearing on a morning talk show on the North Lawn of the White House, on June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Conway has been under fire for allegedly violating the Hatch Act. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The OSC had issued a recommendation that Conway be fired for making comments on several occasions “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”

The report referenced remarks Conway had made about 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. The White House has denied the allegations against Conway, saying she was exercising her First Amendment rights and did not violate the law.

“We think I’d be the first member of the West Wing to ever be hauled in front of Congress to talk about the Hatch Act,” Conway said to reporters Monday. Conway also said that the Hatch Act law does not apply to assistants to the president.

Trump said he has no intention of firing Conway.

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