Democrats call for Trump ally and postmaster general Louis DeJoy’s firing as FBI investigation revealed

Lawmakers also probing whether USPS chief pressured former employees to donate to GOP candidates

Alex Woodward
New York
Thursday 03 June 2021 18:49
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Democratic lawmakers are reviving their calls for postmaster general Louis DeJoy to be fired from the agency as the nation’s postal chief confirms he is under Justice Department investigation.

The US postmaster general is facing a probe from the US Department of Justice and FBI related to his fundraising for political campaigns, his spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post.

“Mr DeJoy has learned that the Department of Justice is investigating campaign contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector,” according to Mark Corallo, a spokesperson for Mr DeJoy who confirmed The Post’s reporting to The Independent.

“He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them,” Mr Corallo said in a statement shared with The Independent.

Democratic US Rep Bill Pascrell, who has repeatedly urged President Joe Biden and the US Postal Service governing board to oust Mr DeJoy, urged three new appointees on the Board of Governors to fire him following a “regime” that has been a “historic disaster” for the agency.

“Mr DeJoy’s continued gross mismanagement, self-inflicted nationwide delays in mail delivery and rampant financial conflicts of interest justly warrant his expeditious removal,” Congressman Pascrell wrote on Thursday.

The postmaster general – a top GOP donor appointed by former president Donald Trump to lead the USPS last year – has faced intense scrutiny within the last year, including mounting pressure among congressional Democrats calling for his removal, letters to the agency’s board of governors demanding that its members oust him, and protests and watchdog groups scrutinising his time before and after his appointment.

He has overseen significant cuts and service changes to the agency during the coronavirus pandemic against a surge in demand as mail became a critical lifeline during the public health crisis, while 2020 elections saw a massive increase in vote-by-mail options that critics have argued were undermined by Mr DeJoy’s plans.

Mr DeJoy – who gave at least $1.1m to Mr Trump’s campaign and the GOP – also was accused by top Democrats of obstructing mail-in ballots, which Mr Trump has falsely claimed were marred by fraud as part of a “stolen election” effort among Democrats. US Reps Hakeem Jeffries and Ted Lieu have asked the FBI to probe whether Mr DeJoy or the USPS Board of Governors “committed any crimes” as part of that effort.

The Washington Post had also investigated whether employees at Mr DeJoy’s former logistics company were pressured to donate to or attend political fundraisers for Republican candidates in return for political or workplace favours, which is illegal.

The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether Mr DeJoy was involved in any so-called “straw donation” schemes. Mr DeJoy has denied the allegations.

 “Mr DeJoy fully cooperated with and answered the questions posed by Congress regarding these matters,” Mr Corallo said in a statement. “The same is true of the Postal Service Inspector General’s inquiry which after a thorough investigation gave Mr DeJoy a clean bill of health on his disclosure and divestment issues.  He expects nothing less in this latest matter and he intends to work with [the Justice Department] toward swiftly resolving it.”

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