The House Oversight Committee has voted 25-16 to subpoena White House adviser Kellyanne Conway over alleged ethics violations.
What did the committee say?
The committee was following up on charges by the Office of Special Counsel which accused Conway of violating the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act, which was passed in 1939, limits "certain political activities of federal employees." This Office of Special Counsel is a completely separate entity from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and investigation.
The same committee had sent a letter to Conway on June 13, inviting her to testify. However, the White House responded by saying that Conway was "absolutely immune from the congressional testimonial process" and would be declining the invitation.
In a statement, committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-Md.) called Conway's conduct a "clear-cut case of a federal employee violating federal law." He added that "[n]obody is above the law, not even Kellyanne Conway." Cummings claimed that Conway had "engaged in an astounding show of defiance by increasing the frequency of her illegal activity and disparaging the law itself." He also said that he did not believe that White House aides were immune from testifying before Congress.
The committee voted largely along party lines, with only Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) crossing party lines to vote in favor of the subpoena. According to the Hill, Amash said that "[w]ith respect to the vote, the point is not whether she is violating the Hatch Act or not, it is whether she should comply with the subpoena." He added that "we should have brought her in and had an opportunity to ask her about the Hatch Act and to make her case for why she thinks she is complying with it."
One of the Republicans on the committee voiced his opposition to this
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-S.C.), who sits on the committee and voted against the motion, accused his colleagues of using the subpoena as "nothing more than a political spectacle." He told Cummings that the committee was "setting a dangerous course." He said if the same standard used for Conway was applied to members of Congress "they are violating, indeed would be violating the very rules of this House." He called out frequent cable news guests Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) by name.