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Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

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.

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%.

Read the lawsuit.

Go deeper

Paul Ryan calls on Trump to concede race and end lawsuits

Paul Ryan and Joe Biden after the vice presidential debate in 2012. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) on Tuesday called on President Trump to concede the election to President-elect Biden and "embrace the transfer of power," in an address at a financial conference first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: Trump has continued to deny that he lost the election, despite his administration granting so-called "ascertainment" on Monday, allowing the transition to formally begin.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
37 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

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