House Democrats call for US postal chief’s suspension, launch probe

Politics

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Monday, August 24, 2020. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo/File Photo

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The head of the House Oversight panel on Tuesday urged the immediate suspension of U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy following reports that he illegally reimbursed former employees for political contributions, and announced an investigation.

NewsNation obtained the following statement from House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney:

“If these allegations are true, Mr. DeJoy could face criminal exposure—not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our Committee under oath. We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the Board of Governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place.”

The announcement follows accusations by former workers at DeJoy’s company in North Carolina that he reimbursed employees for campaign contributions to his preferred Republican politicians, an arrangement that would violate federal campaign finance law. The Washington Post and the New York Times both reported the allegations over the weekend, citing multiple unnamed former employees.

President Donald Trump on Monday said he would support an investigation into campaign contributions involving DeJoy. A Trump donor, DeJoy is already facing backlash over changes he implemented ahead of the November election that sparked concern over the agency’s ability to process mail-in ballots this fall.

“The Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s ballots securely and on time,” DeJoy said in testimony before Congress last month. “This sacred duty is my number one priority between now and Election day.”

He also testified removal of mailboxes and sorting equipment were routine responses to changes in mail volume, adding that he hadn’t ordered those changes.

On Tuesday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows defended DeJoy and accused Democrats of launching a political probe in an election year.

“Louis DeJoy is an honorable man,” Meadows told reporters at the White House. “I’m sure he’ll cooperate completely, and we serve in a great country where you’re innocent until proven guilty.”

The House Oversight Committee is already investigating USPS operational changes, including curbed overtime, and sent DeJoy a subpoena last week seeking related documents. New York’s attorney general has also separately filed a lawsuit over the issue.

Democrats have accused DeJoy of deliberately disrupting the Postal Service as millions of Americans consider whether to cast their vote by mail in the Nov. 3 presidential election, saying the changes could slow down mail delivery and delay ballots. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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