When GOP mega-donor and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was grilled by Congress on Aug. 24, virtually all lawmakers’ questions focused on how changes he ordered to U.S. Postal Service operations have slowed mail delivery.
But Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) also had something else on his mind. Cooper asked DeJoy if he had ever repaid employees of his former company, New Breed Logistics, for their hundreds of thousands of dollars of contributions to the Trump campaign. DeJoy was indignant in his reply: “That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it. . . . The answer is no.”
It turns out that “outrageous claim” may not be so outrageous after all and DeJoy is now facing accusations of violating campaign finance laws and committing perjury.
A Washington Post investigation has revealed that five people who worked for New Breed say they were strongly urged by company executives or DeJoy himself to write large checks and attend GOP fundraisers at his 15,000-square-foot mansion in Greensboro, N.C. WaPo goes on to report:
“Two other employees familiar with New Breed’s financial and payroll systems said DeJoy would instruct that bonus payments to staffers be boosted to help defray the cost of their contributions, an arrangement that would be unlawful.
“Louis was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party. He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses,” said David Young, DeJoy’s longtime director of human resources, who had access to payroll records at New Breed from the late 1990s to 2013 and is now retired. “When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else.”
While it’s legal to encourage employees to make donations, reimbursing them for those contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal election laws. Such “straw-donor schemes” are illegal because they allow donors to evade individual contribution limits and obscure the true source of money used to influence elections.
DeJoy issued a statement saying he “regrets” if he made any employees feel “uncomfortable for any reason” and that he relied on legal advice regarding GOP campaign donations.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is among those calling for a federal investigation.
The swamp in action:See Also
DeJoy pressures his employees to make political contributions, and allegedly illegally reimburses them.
Trump appoints him head of USPS, where he degrades mail services that Americans need to vote.
This report demands a full, independent investigation. https://t.co/QhnVrf4glj
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 6, 2020