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House Oversight Committee Subpoenas Postmaster General Over Controversial Changes at the United States Postal Service

House Oversight Committee Subpoenas Postmaster General Over Controversial Changes at the United States Postal Service

The House of Representatives has subpoenaed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to hand over “documents related to operational changes that have slowed mail and the agency’s plans for the presidential election,” the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

The subpoena was issued by House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) as a follow-up to DeJoy’s recent contemptuous and potentially perjurious testimony before the House and Senate.

Earlier this week, Maloney warned DeJoy that “it is clear that a subpoena has become necessary to further the Committee’s investigation and help inform potential legislative actions.”

Among the many questions Congress wants answered are:

  1. How did DeJoy got his job in the first place? Last month, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accused the White House of concealing the true motives behind President Donald Trump’s decision to hire DeJoy, a former megadonor whose private company has raked in hundreds of millions of United States Postal Service dollars.
  2. Has DeJoy privately colluded with the Trump campaign to sabotage mail-in voting in order to help Trump win reelection?
  3. What, if any, communications has DeJoy had with top Cabinet officials?

“The committee is also asking for information about how DeJoy, whose appointment broke a long line of postmaster generals with previous experience at the agency, was picked for the job, as well as any communications between DeJoy and the Trump campaign,” the AP added. “It is also requesting DeJoy’s unredacted calendar along with records on potential communications with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.”

DeJoy has until September 16 to meet the Committee’s demands, and a USPS spokesperson begrudgingly said that the agency will comply.

“We remain surprised and confused by Chairwoman Maloney’s insistence on issuing a subpoena to the Postal Service in the midst of ongoing dialogue with her staff on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to produce information in an orderly fashion. We fully intend to comply with our obligations under the law,” the statement read.

What exactly is confusing the USPS is unclear.

Last Thursday, Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, demanded that DeJoy surrender records of any personal communications he has had with Trump, his reelection campaign, and the United States Postal Service Board of Governors “regarding the Trump campaign.”

Connolly sent DeJoy a letter demanding clarification of conflicting answers DeJoy provided to the House and Senate.

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“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,” Connolly wrote. “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 stopped a hair short of accusing DeJoy of perjury.

“In addition, you did not disclose to the Senate—or initially even to our committee—that you in fact did communicate with the Trump campaign. As you know, you were under oath on both occasions. This omission, combined with your efforts to conceal other documents our committee has requested, raises grave concerns about the veracity of your testimony,” he said. “Finally, it appears that you chose to communicate secretly with the Trump campaign because you did not want to publicly contradict President Trump, who has relentlessly attacked the Postal Service and voting by mail.”

Connolly reminded DeJoy that “your responsibilities do not include secretly communicating with any campaign. You have a duty to stand up for the independence of the organization you lead and state clearly and publicly when the President’s actions are fundamentally undermining that mission.”

DeJoy’s “response to President Trump’s actions has betrayed the position of public trust you occupy as the nation’s 75th Postmaster General,” Connolly conluded.

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