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Court documents show Postal Service removed 711 mail-sorting machines this year

Court documents show Postal Service removed 711 mail-sorting machines this year
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Court testimony from top-ranking Postal Service officials indicates the agency removed 711 mail-sorting machines, roughly double the amount it usually takes out in a given year.

Agency officials disclosed the number in documents and written testimony submitted Wednesday in federal court in New York. The number is both the highest single-year total of the Trump presidency and about twice the average number the Postal Service removes annually, CNN reported.

Between 2015 and 2019, the agency removed an average of 388 machines a year, according to court papers provided to CNN by Postal Service official Jason DeChambeau.

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The written testimony also states that the decision to remove the machines was made before Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyPostal service reversing changes that slowed mail delivery The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden set for dueling town halls amid battleground blitz High-speed mail sorting machine reassembled in Maine MORE’s appointment in June. The Postal Service attributed the removal to a decrease in mail during the coronavirus pandemic, according to DeChambeau.

His written testimony also said DeJoy ordered an end to the machine removals on Aug. 18.

CNN reported that internal documents put the total number of sorting machines at 4,926 in February, while DeChambeau said it only had 4,824 machines in October of last year.

Postal Service employees have said that removing outdated machines is routine, but some expressed concerns over doing so during an election year when many American expect to vote by mail, CNN reported.

DeJoy, a longtime Republican donor, has come under heavy criticism from Democrats since his appointment earlier this year for service changes. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania’s entire Democratic congressional delegation wrote a letter to DeJoy saying at least 30 machines have been removed from Pennsylvania mail facilities.

“Over the past several weeks we have heard from people in every county across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who are gravely concerned about delayed mail delivery,” they wrote. “We call on you to immediately return to service machines that have been removed in recent months.” A 10-page Senate report released Wednesday from Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (D-Mass.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick Casey Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by the Walton Family Foundation - Why Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline for a coronavirus relief deal The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters MORE (D-Pa.) said service changes under DeJoy pose “serious health risks” by slowing down prescription drug deliveries.

“We know that Louis DeJoy is sabotaging the Postal Service, and our report is more evidence that his tenure has been a failure,” Warren said in a statement. “He needs to resign — and if he won’t, the Board of Governors must remove him.”