(CNN)The House Oversight Committee is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday to subpoena testimony from White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway after a federal agency said earlier this month that she should be fired for repeatedly violating a law that limits the political activities of federal employees.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, has warned that his panel would vote to hold Conway in contempt if she ignores the subpoena, which could set up another challenge in court between Congress and the Trump administration. Conway is not expected to appear on Wednesday on the advice of White House counsel for the committee’s scheduled hearing.Earlier this month, the independent Office of Special Counsel sent the Trump administration a letter outlining Conway’s “numerous violations” of the Hatch Act, finding that from February to May she publicly criticized the field of Democratic presidential candidates and sought to boost the Trump campaign while in her official role at the White House.”Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” wrote the OSC, which is unrelated to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.”Trump has said that he’s not going to fire Conway over the alleged Hatch Act violations and White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter Monday that Conway does not need to testify before Congress.Read More”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 wrote.The office has found that she had made similar offenses before. In 2018, the OSC said Conway violated the law during the 2017 Alabama special election for Senate.Last month, Conway mocked that finding. “Let me know when the jail sentence starts,” she told reporters.