The U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) inspector general is reviewing policy changes implemented by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice Biden nominates two picks to replace members of US Postal Service board Postal Service loss nearly halved MORE and probing his compliance with federal ethics rules.
The probe, confirmed Friday by the USPS’s internal watchdog and an aide to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.), who requested the review, comes amid mounting criticism from bipartisan lawmakers that new policies put in place by DeJoy could slow mail delivery and impact mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
DeJoy, a prominent GOP donor, has denied he is instituting changes with the 2020 election in mind.
“We are in receipt of a congressional request and are conducting a body of work to address the concerns raised,” said Agapi Doulaveris, a spokesperson for the inspector general’s office.
“We have learned that the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General is investigating all aspects of our request from August 7th and that they’ve already requested documents as part of the review,” added a Warren spokesperson.
The probe was first reported Friday by CNN.
Warren and eight other Democrats last week requested the USPS internal watchdog open a probe into DeJoy covering both his policy changes and whether he’d “met all ethics requirements.”
DeJoy’s perch atop the USPS has come under fierce scrutiny following a string of controversial moves, such as adjusting delivery policies and reassigning or displacing nearly two dozen postal executives, including the pair of officials in charge of day-to-day operations. The moves come before an election that is expected to see a spike in mail-in voting over the pandemic.
DeJoy has also faced questions over reports that he’s retained at least a $30 million equity stake in his former company, which is a USPS contractor, and that he recently bought stocks in Amazon, a top USPS competitor.
“Trump & his Postmaster are sabotaging @USPS, and I won't stop fighting back. That's why I've called on the @OIGUSPS to investigate Louis DeJoy's delivery changes and corruption,” Warren tweeted Friday.
Trump's efforts to dismantle the @USPS in the run-up to an election are an alarming threat to Americans' right to vote. Now more than ever, Democrats AND Republicans must do everything they can to shore up the @USPS and protect it from Trump's partisan games. #DontMessWithUSPS— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 14, 2020
Democrats have asked for $25 billion in emergency funding to boost the USPS’s capabilities, but President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE has rebuffed them, saying Thursday he was opposed to USPS funding because it would help universal mail-in voting this fall.
He said Friday he would be willing to approve billions of dollars in funding for the USPS as part of a coronavirus relief package if Democrats make concessions on certain White House priorities.
Alarm bells rang again Friday after the USPS issued a warning over "inconsistencies" between its delivery service and state deadlines for receiving and counting mail-in ballots, leading Democrats to voice concerns that some votes may not arrive in time to be counted.
Trump has panned mail-in voting as particularly susceptible to tampering, though experts have said there have not been any instances of widespread fraud associated with casting ballots by mail.