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OnPolitics: Trump officials violated Hatch Act

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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Capitol Hill on April 21, 2021.

Good afternoon, OnPolitics reader!

To testify or not to testify, that is the question for former President Donald Trump and some of his former aides. For the public, the answer is simple.

A majority of Americans believe Trump should testify before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, according to a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll.

The poll found 55% of respondents thought Trump should testify, compared with 38% who said he shouldn’t.

Trump filed a federal lawsuit to block the committee from receiving administration documents and urged his aides not to cooperate with the inquiry. He has argued that executive privilege should protect his communications, but President Joe Biden has waived the privilege for the investigation.

It’s Amy with the top stories out of Washington.

13 high-level Trump officials violated Hatch Act

More than a dozen high-level Trump administration officials improperly used their official government powers to try to influence the 2020 election, according to a federal watchdog’s investigation released on Tuesday.

Among the 13 officials accused of engaging in illegal campaign activity: President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, his acting homeland security chief Chad Wolf and his counselor Kellyanne Conway.

“Senior Trump administration officials chose to use their official authority not for the legitimate functions of the government, but to promote the reelection of President Trump in violation of the law,” the probe found.

What is the Hatch Act? The federal Hatch Act bars government officials from engaging in partisan political activity.

The investigation was conducted by the federal Office of Special Counsel, which received a stream of ethics complaints during the 2020 election – particularly after Pompeo and Wolf took part in the Republican National Convention.

The OSC report describes a pervasive willingness to flout the law inside the Trump White House and suggests, in Pompeo’s case at least, that the president himself may have encouraged the illegal activity.

Real Quick: stories you’ll want to read

PUMP Act to expand pumping spaces for breastfeeding moms

Activists and moms told USA TODAY there is a glaring hole in the nation’s laws that ensure accommodations and accessibility for mothers to pump breastmilk for their infants while at work. Nearly 9 million people aren’t covered by the current federal law, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute.

Such discrepancies for mothers gained the attention of lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle on Capitol Hill. Now, the PUMP Act, which would aim to amend current law and fill the gaps that exclude so many mothers from the time and space to pump, awaits passage in the Senate.

“We strive for America being the best at all things and leading the world, but on this we’re not. We’re failing,” said Tina Sherman, senior campaign director for maternal health at MomsRising, an organization working to achieve economic security for moms, women and families.

What is the PUMP Act? The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections to Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act, which passed the House in October on a largely bipartisan basis, would seek to amend coverage gaps in current law. It would aim to ensure all women have access to nursing and pumping spaces while at work.

The PUMP Act would require employers with 25 or more employees to provide time, and private, clean spaces for nursing mothers. It would clarify when pumping time can be unpaid and would redefine how employees can hold their employers accountable if they do not provide break time and space.

“Welcome Back World!” After 600 days, see how tourists to the U.S. spent their first day in the country since the international travel ban was lifted. — Amy

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Conway, Pompeo among Trump officials who violated Hatch Act