Published 4:16 PM EDT Sep 8, 2020
WASHINGTON – A Democrat-led House committee will investigate Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over allegations he pressured employees at his former company into giving political donations to Republicans and helped reimburse the cost.
In a statement first provided to The Washington Post after the outlet’s investigation into DeJoy’s political contributions, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chair of the House Oversight Committee, said the allegations, if true, meant DeJoy had also lied to the committee during past testimony and urged the Postal Board of Governors, the body overseeing the Postal Service, to “immediately suspend DeJoy.”
“If these allegations are true, Mr. DeJoy could face criminal exposure – not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our Committee under oath,” Maloney said. “We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the Board of Governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place.”
Based on interviews with employees of DeJoy’s former company New Breed Logistics, The Post reported Saturday that DeJoy or his aides had urged employees to donate to Republicans and attend political fundraisers at his home.
The Post also interviewed former employees who had worked with the company’s finance and payroll systems, who told the outlet DeJoy had bonus payments sent to employees who donated to help reimburse the cost – a potentially illegal arrangement.
“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,” David Young, New Breed’s former human resources director, told The Post.
More: House committee to subpoena Postmaster General DeJoy over withholding documents from Congress
Monty Hagler, a spokesperson for DeJoy, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.
Asked during a hearing before the House Oversight Committee on Aug. 24 whether he had paid back executives and employees of his old company for donations to President Donald Trump’s campaign, DeJoy flatly denied the accusation.
“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” DeJoy told Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., who had asked the question. “The answer is no.”
DeJoy said he was not even working at his company during the Trump campaign and was “fully aware of legal campaign contributions.”
Democrats have scrutinized DeJoy’s political donations amid the controversy surrounding the Postal Service. Democratic lawmakers say DeJoy, a major Republican donor, has conflicts of interest in running the agency. Congressional Democrats say delays and operational changes at the Postal Service made under DeJoy’s tenure threaten the agency’s ability to handle mail-in ballots.
DeJoy testified twice before lawmakers in August, acknowledging delays in mail across the country but pledging to deliver all election mail on time. In testimony, DeJoy slammed what he called a “false narrative” that Postal Service changes had been made to disrupt the election, and he defended his changes as necessary to support the agency’s finances.
Under criticism from both sides, DeJoy suspended some operational changes in August but said he would resume cost-cutting measures, including the effort to improve delivery times, until after the election Nov. 3.
The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed DeJoy for documents and information earlier this month, alleging a lack of cooperation in their investigations.
In a statement at the time, the Postal Service said it was “frankly surprised and confused” by the news about the subpoena but would “comply with our obligations under the law.”