USPS inspector general reviewing DeJoy’s policy changes

The U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) inspector general is reviewing policy changes implemented by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and probing his compliance with federal ethics rules.

The probe, confirmed Friday by the USPS’s internal watchdog and an aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (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.

Democrats have asked for $25 billion in emergency funding to boost the USPS’s capabilities, but President Trump 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.

Tags 2020 2020 election absentee voting Coronavirus Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Louis DeJoy mail-in ballots mail-in voting U.S. Postal Service USPS voting by mail

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