Government Watchdog Sues United States Postal Service for Access to Postmaster General’s Personal Calendars

American Oversight, a government watchdog group that has filed more Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the Trump Administration, sued the United States Postal Service on Tuesday for access to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s personal calendars, which the agency’s Board of Governors has claimed are protected under FOIA following a request last month.

Photo by Tom Brenner-Pool/Getty Images

American Oversight announced the lawsuit on Twitter.

NEW LAWSUIT: We’re suing the #USPS for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s calendar. In August, USPS claimed the calendar, which is kept on a government computer & accessed by agency staff, is a personal record not subject to FOIA. Now we’re going to court,” the group tweeted. “The calendars of senior government officials are routinely released to the public in response to FOIA requests. We have previously obtained and published calendars for dozens of top Trump administration appointees. Why is DeJoy trying so hard to keep his calendars private?”

“DeJoy is supervising the delivery of everything from mail-in ballots to medications right now, and the public is entitled to see how he’s spending his time and who has been influencing his decisions. Learn more about our USPS investigation here,” the group added.

In the 21-page complaint, American Oversight requested:

All calendars or calendar entries for Louis DeJoy including any calendars maintained on behalf of Louis DeJoy, from June 15, 2020 through two weeks after the date the search is conducted. American Oversight requests that the calendars be produced in a format that includes all invitees, any notes, and all attachments. Please do not limit your search to Outlook calendars; we request the production of any calendar—paper or electronic, whether on government-issued or personal devices—used to track or coordinate how Mr. DeJoy allocates his time on agency business. The search would include any calendars associated with his individual email account where he keeps track of official business, as well as any official calendars maintained for him, including by his administrative assistant or scheduler.

DeJoy’s cozy and suspectedly corrupt relationship with the Republican Party and President Donald Trump have been the subject of ongoing scrutiny by Congress and numerous nonpartisan government oversight organizations, who have accused DeJoy of deliberately sabotaging the USPS so it can eventually be privatized and to help Trump win the election.

DeJoy, a former GOP megadonor who was placed in charge of the USPS in June, has implemented policies that have significantly slowed mail service, at a time when mail-in and absentee voting will play a crucial role in November’s presidential election because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On September 3, following his frustratingly contemptuous and potentially perjurious testimony before the House and Senate, House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) filed a subpoena demanding that DeJoy hand over his personal schedule.

The deadline for DeJoy and the USPS to submit those documents to Congress is today.

“American Oversight is investigating how the pandemic has impacted USPS, and whether and to what extent the White House is interfering in the agency’s operations or undermining trust in absentee voting — either on behalf of private industry or to benefit the president’s reelection chances,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Who has Postmaster General DeJoy been meeting with and why is he trying so hard to keep it a secret?” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “DeJoy is supervising the delivery of everything from mail-in ballots to medications right now, and the public is entitled to see how he’s spending his time and who has been influencing his decisions.”

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