House

Oversight subcommittee asks DeJoy to detail communications with Trump campaign

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The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service demanded on Wednesday that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy detail his recent communications with anyone affiliated with President Trump’s reelection campaign.

In a letter to DeJoy, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the chairman of the Government Operations Subcommittee, asked DeJoy to provide further detail about his testimony before the full House Oversight and Reform panel on Monday acknowledging that he had told friends “associated” with the Trump campaign that the president’s attacks on voting by mail were “not helpful.”

“As a threshold matter, it is concerning that you, in your capacity as Postmaster General, would be communicating secretly with anyone associated with the Trump campaign. You have testified repeatedly that, by statute, the Postal Service should be independent and removed from politics. Engaging in undisclosed contacts with Trump campaign officials directly undermines these goals,” Connolly wrote.

Connolly asked DeJoy to provide the committee by Sept. 2 with documentation of any communications, either through official or personal platforms, with people associated with the Trump campaign or any other political organization since he became postmaster general in mid-June. He also asked DeJoy to supply a list of everyone he has spoken with in person, over the phone or through electronic means who was associated with the campaign or another political entity.

DeJoy initially said during the Oversight hearing on Monday that “I’ve had no contact with the Trump campaign.”

But in response to questioning from Connolly about contacts with the Trump campaign regarding the president’s attacks on voting by mail, DeJoy testified that “I have put word around to different people to please — that this is not helpful.”

DeJoy said that he had not spoken to “campaign leadership,” but to “friends of mine that are associated with the campaign.”

DeJoy previously testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday that he did not discuss changes at the Postal Service with Trump campaign officials before implementing them. He also said that he had not spoken to Trump about the Postal Service “other than to congratulate me when I accepted the position.”

DeJoy, a GOP mega-donor who previously ran a logistics company, did not have prior experience in the Postal Service before leading the agency. He announced last week that recently implemented cost-cutting measures, including the removal of some mail-processing machines and restricting overtime would be suspended until after the November elections.

DeJoy reiterated that the Postal Service is “fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s ballots securely and on time” and that it would be his “No. 1 priority” through Election Day.

House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would prevent the postmaster general, the deputy postmaster general or members of the Postal Service Board of Governors from holding any political position. It would also limit nominees for postmaster general and deputy postmaster general to people who have not been political candidates, held elected office or worked for a political party in the last four years.

Maloney also warned DeJoy during Monday’s hearing that she would issue a subpoena if he did not provide the committee with documents about changes at the Postal Service by Wednesday.

Monday’s hearing came after the House passed legislation on Saturday that would prevent the Postal Service from making changes to its operations that could adversely impact mail delivery, as well as providing the agency with $25 billion. The bill is not expected to be taken up by the GOP-controlled Senate.

Tags 2020 2020 campaign 2020 election absentee ballots absentee voting Carolyn Maloney Donald Trump Gerry Connolly Louis DeJoy mail-in voting voting by mail

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