If anyone needed more evidence of the Trump administration’s flagrant criminality, it came Tuesday morning when it responded to allegations against senior advisor Kellyanne Conway. She was just found by the Office of the Special Counsel (not related to Robert Mueller) to have violated the Hatch Act that prohibits White House personnel from engaging in political advocacy. Twice.
What makes this such a great example of the administration’s casual relationship to crime is not just the illegal behavior, but the official response to it. Disregarding the OSC’s findings and referral for disciplinary action, Donald Trump’s White House chose to let Conway slide with no consequences for her actions whatsoever. Even though this is at least her third violation and she has supposedly been counseled. The White House said that:
“Kellyanne Conway did not advocate for or against the election of any particular candidate. She simply expressed the president’s obvious position that he have people in the House and Senate who support his agenda.”
That, of course, was totally untrue. Given her repeated breaches of federal law, and her absence of remorse, it is inconceivable that she would avoid punishment. Had an aide to President Obama done this, Republicans would be calling for his impeachment. Well, if Obama were caught jaywalking they’d call for his impeachment. But an unrepentant, recidivist federal law breaker like Conway doesn’t even get the proverbial slap on the wrist.
Consequently, Conway’s punishment should be meted out in the only other venue that matters to her: the media.
There is absolutely no justification for any responsible news enterprise to book this lawbreaker. It is on the news that Conway commits her crimes. So why provide her the opportunity to repeat her offenses? The victims of the Hatch Act are not just citizens who are deceived, but also news outlets that are exploited. So it is entirely appropriate for them to protect themselves and their audience from further harm.
What’s more, Conway has never respected the journalists with whom she associated. Her record of brazenly lying to reporters is well documented. She is, after all, the woman who coined the term “alternative facts.” Or as Chuck Todd observed, “falsehoods.”
Considering the frequency with which Conway has lied to the press, they would have been justified in banning her even before these legal judgments. In fact, that’s just what the hosts of Morning Joe did last year. Now that banishment needs to be extended to the rest of the media.
Since the criminals in the Trump administration believe that the law doesn’t apply to them, justice needs another outlet. Let Trump find someone else to lie to America. He has plenty of Deplorables around him who have no problem wallowing in that swamp. And leave them and Conway to Fox News where lying is a job requirement.
In the meantime, enjoy Michelle Wolf’s deconstruction of the Conway Method from the Daily Daily Show, where she notes that “For decades politicians have blown bullshit on TV. But Kellyanne Conway has changed the game.”
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.