Kellyanne Conway, President Donald Trump’s shrill counselor and spokeswoman, is a qualified lawyer, having passed the Washington D.C. Bar in 1995 after studying at George Washington University Law School. Now, 15 legal ethics lawyers have filed a complaint against Conway accusing her of misconduct. The professors come from across the country and teach at institutions such as Yale Law School and Duke University.
In the letter they wrote to the Washington D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel yesterday, the professors allege that Conway “brought shame upon the legal profession” by engaging in “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.” They cite multiple incidents including the television interview where Conway falsely claims President Obama banned Iraqi refugees from entering the United States after the fictional “Bowling Green massacre.” Another incident used as evidence was Conway’s promotion of Ivanka Trump’s products, in violation of federal ethics laws.
The lawyers wrote:
We do not file this complaint lightly. We believe that, at one time, Ms. Conway, understood her ethical responsibilities as a lawyer and abided by them. But she is currently acting in a way that bring shame upon the legal profession.
Conway is listed as a D.C. Bar member under her maiden name, Kellyanne E. Fitzpatrick, but was suspended as a member for not paying her dues. Actions available to the D.C. Disciplinary Counsel include prosecution of charges and possible disbarment, meaning Conway would no longer be a qualified lawyer.
Kellyanne Conway has been the center of various scandals and gaffes since she began serving as Trump’s counselor, most famously claiming the White House has been providing “alternative facts” about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd. The professors commented on this in their letter, stating that “‘Alternative facts’ are not facts at all; they are lies.”
On the topic of Conway illegally promoting Ivanka’s products, the lawyers said:
Federal rules on conflicts of interest specifically prohibit using public office ‘for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.'”
Abbe Smith, a professor at Georgetown Law Center and Director of Criminal Defense and Prisoner advocacy Clinic, is one of the complainants. She said she has never filed such a complaint before, and wouldn’t usually do so, but took the time to justify her actions:
But Ms. Conway’s conduct was so outside the norm for a member of the legal profession. What prompted our complaint was a combination of the specific conduct that Ms. Conway engaged in plus the fact that she holds such a high public office.
Kellyanne Conway is one of the Trump administration’s most heinous liars. Everything she says in her television interviews is either completely false or spun in such a way that it barely resembles the truth. This complaint will come as bad news to Conway, who has already been receiving the cold shoulder from many television networks in reaction to her constant lies and verbal diarrhea. She has also clearly broken ethical rules and laws and gone far beyond her remit as Trump’s counselor. This complaint, if successful, won’t remove her from public office, but it will help to further discredit her.