Two Democrats call for criminal inquiry of postmaster general

August 17, 2020
In The News

Two Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to open a criminal probe into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, accusing him of deliberately slowing the mail to give President Trump an advantage in the November presidential election.

“There is overwhelming evidence that Postmaster General DeJoy and the Board of Governors have hindered the passage of mail,” Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) wrote in a letter to Wray, which was first reported by MSNBC.

“At least 19 mail sorting machines, which can process 35,000 pieces of mail per hour, have been dismantled and over 671 are slated for reductions later this year,” they added.

The two congressmen specifically cite Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in voting, as well as his suggestion in a recent interview that, without funding for the U.S. Postal Service, “they can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

Their letter also cites DeJoy’s status as a donor to the president and background in fundraising rather than postal work.

“It is not unreasonable to conclude that Postmaster General DeJoy and the Board of Governors may be executing Donald Trump’s desire to affect mail-in balloting,” it states.

Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), meanwhile, have called for criminal inquiries by their respective state attorneys general.

“President Trump and his recently appointed Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, are intentionally undermining the ability of the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail-in ballots, threatening the integrity of the upcoming elections,” Eshoo wrote in a letter Sunday. “I believe there is sufficient evidence for your office to open a criminal investigation to determine if these actions violate California laws which protect the rights of our mutual constituents to vote, and I urge you to do so.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, has called the House back early from recess this week to vote on legislation blocking changes to Postal Service operations. House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Sunday also called for DeJoy to testify at a hearing next Monday about recent cost-cutting measures and whether they will affect an expected increase in mail-in voting.

“Your testimony is particularly urgent given the troubling influx of reports of widespread delays at postal facilities across the country — as well as President Trump’s explicit admission last week that he has been blocking critical coronavirus funding for the Postal Service in order to impair mail-in voting efforts for the upcoming elections in November,” Maloney wrote in a letter.

The Hill has reached out to the USPS and the FBI for comment.