In sharp contrast, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly violated the Hatch Act in a way that is so egregious the investigative office that handles these matters recommended she be fired. In response, Trump said, “they’re trying to take away her right of free speech and that’s just not fair.”
In the Trump administration, speech is only free when it cuts in the president’s favor. When speech is unflattering to the president, it’s a treasonous “deep state” conspiracy and it comes with a price tag that includes a person’s career and reputation.
For Trump, Strzok’s firing was not enough. The president has accused Strzok of committing treason and Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has called for Strzok’s imprisonment. Republican members of Congress have also called for Strzok to be prosecuted.
The president and his congressional comrades should be careful about the precedent they have created: Using a work phone to make private unflattering remarks about the target of an investigation results in expulsion from government and criminal prosecution. If that’s the new normal, House Democrats should subpoena the text records of every Republican member of the Benghazi Committee, which targeted Hillary Clinton.