Sep 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats to probe Louis DeJoy GOP contributions claims

 Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during an August hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said late Monday the panel will investigate allegations that postmaster general Louis DeJoy's former company reimbursed employees for donations to Republican campaigns, the Washington Post first reported.

Why it matters: Such action would violate campaign finance law if it had taken place at the Trump and GOP donor's former firm New Breed in North Carolina, as alleged.

  • Maloney said in an emailed statement that if these allegations are true, DeJoy "could face criminal exposure — not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our committee under oath."
  • She added that the Board of Governors should "immediately suspend" DeJoy from the U.S. Postal Service, adding "they never should have selected him in the first place."

What they're saying: Monty Hagler, a spokesperson for DeJoy, said in a statement previously to the Washington Post Sunday, when it first reported the allegations, that DeJoy "was never notified" by employees at New Breed "of any pressure they might have felt to make a political contribution."

  • DeJoy "believes that he has always followed campaign fundraising laws and regulations," he added.

Of note: When asked on Monday whether there should be an investigation into the allegations, President Trump said: "Sure."

  • Asked if DeJoy should lose his job if the allegations are proven to be true, Trump said: "Yeah, if something can be proven that he did something wrong, always."
  • Trump said he didn't "know too much about" the claims, stressing that DeJoy is a "very respected man" before adding: "I think he's a very honest guy, but we'll see."

Background: DeJoy said on Aug. 18 he would halt operational changes and cost-cutting to the USPS until after November's election to "avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail."

  • But Democrats have accused DeJoy and Trump of turning the USPS into "a political football set to undermine a federal election," and New York's attorney general filed a lawsuit on Aug. 25 to block changes to postal policies.
  • Six days later, DeJoy denied during a combative hearing before the House Oversight that he was seeking to "sabotage" election mail, but would not commit to reversing changes.
  • The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed DeJoy on Sept. 3 for records related to the changes and information on mail delivery delays.
  • Representatives for the Postal Service did not immediately respond to Axios' requests for comment.
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