New York AG sues Trump and DeJoy to block USPS changes
New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and President Trump of turning the U.S. Postal Service into "a political football set to undermine a federal election" in a lawsuit seeking to block changes to postal policies that was filed Tuesday.
The big picture: More Americans than ever are expected to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, even as Trump has continually claimed without evidence that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud. He has pledged to block funding for mail-in voting and the USPS.
- New Jersey, Hawaii, New York City and San Francisco were also plaintiffs in James' lawsuit.
- The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Driving the news: DeJoy was called to testify before both the House and Senate this month in the aftermath of operational changes that led to widespread mail delays. DeJoy, a Trump donor and businessman, also faces lawsuits from at least 25 states.
- DeJoy said earlier this month that he would halt the changes and cost cuts until after the 2020 election to "avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail."
- On-time delivery for priority and first-class mail dropped significantly from July 4 into early August.
What they're saying: "This USPS slowdown is nothing more than a voter suppression tactic," James said in a press release. "Yet, this time, these authoritarian actions are not only jeopardizing our democracy and fundamental right to vote, but the immediate health and financial well-being of Americans across the nation."
- "But as the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down cities, counties, and states, the Trump Administration made concerted efforts to interfere with the agency and with states’ plans to expand mail-in voting due to the public health crisis."
- "President Trump repeatedly, emphatically, and openly attempted to undermine mail-in voting efforts and the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to ensure the timely delivery of ballots."
The other side: "I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy told a House committee on Monday, calling allegations that he has made sweeping operational changes in order to undercut mail-in voting a "false narrative."
- He reiterated that he will suspend all changes to the USPS until after the election in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
- DeJoy also testified that USPS on-time departures are approaching 98%.