Chairman Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, has warned that his panel would vote to hold Conway in contempt if she ignores the subpoena. Conway did not appear on Wednesday on the advice of White House counsel for the committee’s scheduled hearing.
“This is not a conspiracy to silence her or restrict her First Amendment rights,” Cummings said. “This is an effort to enforce federal law.”
“Nobody in this country is above the law,” added Cummings.
Special counsel Henry Kerner on Wednesday said the office did not make its recommendation “lightly,” saying Conway’s conduct sent a “false message” to other federal employees that they don’t need to abide by the Hatch Act.
“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.
Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the oversight committee, called the allegations “ridiculous” and claimed that the special office felt “slighted” by Conway’s dismissal of the Office of the Special Counsel.
Jordan said that Democrats “want to focus on Kellyanne Conway’s tweets” rather than “issues that matter to Americans.”
“That’s the obsession you have with going after this president.” added Jordan.
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Jim Acosta, Lauren Fox and Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.