House Democrat to DeJoy: ‘Is your backup plan to be pardoned like Roger Stone?’
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) suggested during a contentious House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Monday that the changes to Postal Service operations under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy could be considered a violation of laws against intentionally delaying mail delivery.
Cooper, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition with a moderate voting record, noted that it’s a felony for postal workers to delay mail delivery.
“But somehow you can delay all the mail and get away with it?” Cooper asked DeJoy.
Cooper went on to ask if the recent delays in mail delivery amounted to “implicit campaign contributions.”
“All my actions have to do with improving the Postal Service,” DeJoy replied. “Am I the only one in this room that understands that we have a $10 billion a year loss?”
Cooper then asked DeJoy: “Is your backup plan to be pardoned like Roger Stone?”
WHOA: Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) to the Postmaster General at today’s hearing: “Mr. DeJoy, is your backup plan to be pardoned like Roger Stone?” pic.twitter.com/eL50K7GOnu
— The Recount (@therecount) August 24, 2020
The question drew groans from GOP lawmakers in the room. DeJoy laughed before responding, “I have no comment on that. It’s not worth a comment.”
President Trump last month commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime confidant and campaign adviser. Stone, who tried to appeal his conviction, was charged in connection with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Stone was convicted last year of lying to Congress in its investigation of Russian election interference, as well as witness tampering and obstructing an official proceeding.
Cooper also asked, without providing evidence, if DeJoy had provided bonuses to employees of the logistics company he founded who donated to Trump’s campaign.
“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” DeJoy said. “The answer is no.”
DeJoy announced last week that he would suspend changes to Postal Service operations until after the elections amid outcry over recent delayed mail deliveries. He said that post office hours would remain intact, overtime would be approved as necessary, mail processing equipment would remain in place and mail processing facilities would remain open.
“While we have had temporary service decline, which should not have happened, we are fixing this,” DeJoy testified on Monday.
DeJoy also testified that he has spoken with people “associated” with the Trump campaign that the president’s attacks on mail-in voting is “not helpful.”
House Democrats passed legislation on Saturday that would prevent the Postal Service from making operational changes that would result in reduced service and provide the agency with $25 billion.