House Democrat files criminal referral accusing Trump of subverting election

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellProgressive poll finds support for solar energy tax credit legislation Democrats brace for toughest stretch yet with Biden agenda LIVE COVERAGE: Tax hikes take center stage in Ways and Means markup MORE (D-N.J.) announced on Friday that he had made a criminal referral to the New Jersey attorney general calling for a grand jury investigation into President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE and United States Postal Services (USPS) chief Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyWatchdog says USPS regularly cheats workers of pay FreedomWorks misfires on postal reform Postal Service to slow certain mail deliveries starting in October MORE, alleging they have possibly subverted the November election. 

"Tonight I’ve made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General asking him to empanel a grand jury to look at subversion of NJ election laws by donald trump, louis dejoy, and other trump officials in their accelerating arson of the post office," Pascrell tweeted alongside photos of the official complaint.

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"[A]ll of us must do whatever we can right now to protect the integrity of our elections," the complaint reads. "I implore you to open an immediate investigation into whether the Trump administration's attacks on the U.S. Postal Service violate New Jersey state laws against electoral subversion, and if so, pursue criminal and civil charges against President Trump, Louis DeJoy and any other high-ranking officials involved."

The letter comes as the USPS has been at the center of national controversy as slowed mail delivery times and procedural changes under Trump have led the post office to say 46 states are at risk of citizens not having their vote-by-mail ballots arrive in time to be counted in the November election. 

The pandemic has raised concerns about the public health risks posed by in-person voting and has sparked some states to adopt mail-in-voting that is more widespread and accessible than in past years. But the issue has created a firestorm as Trump and others cast into doubt the security of vote-by-mail and have alleged without evidence it will lead to election fraud. 

Meanwhile, the USPS is facing a funding crisis that has been a sticking point in lawmaker negotiations over the next coronavirus relief bill. Trump has gone back and forth over whether he would support funding for the USPS in the next measure, but on Friday said he would approve it if Democrats make other concessions. 

The comment from Trump comes after he sparked criticism from Democrats for saying that he did not want to include USPS funding in such a bill because it would be used for vote-by-mail efforts.